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Work and breastfeeding decisions are jointly determined for higher socioeconomic status US mothers

Author

Listed:
  • Bidisha Mandal

    ()

  • Brian Roe

    ()

  • Sara Fein

    ()

Abstract

We study postpartum decisions about paid work and breastfeeding using a simultaneous equations model. For our sample of higher socioeconomic status mothers, we find a joint decision process for three sets of decisions modeled: work leave duration and duration of any, as well as of exclusive, breastfeeding, and daily work hours and daily breastfeedings at infant age 3 months. We find that returning to paid work 1 week earlier reduces any breastfeeding duration by about two-thirds of a week while extending breastfeeding by a week delays work participation by about one-third of a week. We find larger elasticities for decisions involving daily work hours and number of breastfeedings at 3 months than for work leave duration and any breastfeeding duration and the smallest elasticities for duration of exclusive breastfeeding and work leave. This marks the first study to find a joint decision-making process for postpartum work and breastfeeding decisions and suggests that, in addition to increased leave impacting breastfeeding behaviors, successful breastfeeding promotion policies can have nontrivial impacts on the US labor market. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Bidisha Mandal & Brian Roe & Sara Fein, 2014. "Work and breastfeeding decisions are jointly determined for higher socioeconomic status US mothers," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 237-257, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:reveho:v:12:y:2014:i:2:p:237-257
    DOI: 10.1007/s11150-012-9152-y
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Resul Cesur & Joseph J. Sabia & Inas Rashad Kelly & Muzhe Yang, 2017. "The effect of breastfeeding on young adult wages: new evidence from the add health," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 25-51, March.
    3. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Breastfeeding; Elasticity; Employment; Postpartum; Duration; Intensity; Simultaneous model; I12; J13; J22;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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