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The effect of breastfeeding on children's cognitive and noncognitive development

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  • Borra, Cristina
  • Iacovou, Maria
  • Sevilla, Almudena

Abstract

This paper uses propensity score matching methods to investigate the relationship between breastfeeding and children's cognitive and noncognitive development. We find that breastfeeding for four weeks is positively and statistically significantly associated with higher cognitive test scores, by around one tenth of a standard deviation. The association between breastfeeding and noncognitive development is weaker, and is restricted to children of less educated mothers. We conclude that interventions which increase breastfeeding rates would improve not only children's health, but also their cognitive skills, and possibly also their noncognitive development.

Suggested Citation

  • Borra, Cristina & Iacovou, Maria & Sevilla, Almudena, 2012. "The effect of breastfeeding on children's cognitive and noncognitive development," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 496-515.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:19:y:2012:i:4:p:496-515
    DOI: 10.1016/j.labeco.2012.05.007
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. George Wehby, 2014. "Breastfeeding and Child Disability: A Comparison of Siblings from the United States," NBER Working Papers 19940, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. M. Fort & A. Ichino & G. Zanella, 2016. "Cognitive and non-cognitive costs of daycare 0–2 for girls," Working Papers wp1056, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    3. Anita Kottwitz & Anja Oppermann & C. Katharina Spiess, 2016. "Parental leave benefits and breastfeeding in Germany: effects of the 2007 reform," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 859-890, December.
    4. Miki Kobayashi & Emiko Usui, 2017. "Breastfeeding practices and parental employment in Japan," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 579-596, June.
    5. repec:eee:socmed:v:187:y:2017:i:c:p:101-108 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:cep:sticas:/176 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Stewart, Kitty, 2013. "Labour's record on the under fives: policy, spending and outcomes 1997 - 2010," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 58084, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    8. Kitty Stewart, 2013. "Labour's Record on the Under Fives: Policy, Spending and Outcomes 1997 - 2010," CASE - Social Policy in a Cold Climate Working Paper 04, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
    9. Kitty Stewart, 2013. "Labour’s Record on the Under Fives: Policy, Spending and Outcomes 1997-2010," CASE Papers case176, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
    10. Mathias Huebener & Daniel Kuehnle & C. Katharina Spiess, 2017. "Paid Parental Leave and Child Development: Evidence from the 2007 German Parental Benefit Reform and Administrative Data," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1651, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Breastfeeding; Cognitive and noncognitive outcomes; Child development; ALSPAC;

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • J0 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General

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