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

  • Bidisha Mandal

    ()

  • Brian Roe

    ()

  • Sara Fein

    ()

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

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11150-012-9152-y
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Article provided by Springer in its journal Review of Economics of the Household.

Volume (Year): 12 (2014)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 237-257

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Handle: RePEc:kap:reveho:v:12:y:2014:i:2:p:237-257
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=109451

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  11. Mandal, Bidisha & Roe, Brian Eric & Fein, Sara Beck, 2010. "The differential effects of full-time and part-time work status on breastfeeding," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 97(1), pages 79-86, September.
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  14. Brian Roe & Leslie Whittington & Sara Fein & Mario Teisl, 1999. "Is there competition between breast-feeding and maternal employment?," Demography, Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 157-171, May.
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