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The connection between maternal employment and childhood obesity: inspecting the mechanisms

  • Angela Fertig

    ()

  • Gerhard Glomm

    ()

  • Rusty Tchernis

    ()

This paper investigates the channels through which maternal employment affects childhood obesity. We use time diaries and interview responses from the Child Development Supplement of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics which combine information on children’s time allocation and mother’s labor force participation. Our empirical strategy involves estimating the effect of children’s activities and meal routines on BMI, estimating the effect of maternal employment on these activities and routines and then combining these two estimates. We find that maternal employment affects child weight through two main mechanisms – supervision and nutrition, however, the particular channels vary by mother’s education.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11150-009-9052-y
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Article provided by Springer in its journal Review of Economics of the Household.

Volume (Year): 7 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 227-255

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Handle: RePEc:kap:reveho:v:7:y:2009:i:3:p:227-255
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=109451

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  1. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2004. "Maternal Employment and Adolescent Development," NBER Working Papers 10691, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. David Cutler & Edward Glaeser & Jesse Shapiro, 2003. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese?," NBER Working Papers 9446, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Levine, David I. & Rothman, Dov, 2006. "Does trade affect child health?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 538-554, May.
  4. Shin-Yi Chou & Michael Grossman & Henry Saffer, 2002. "An Economic Analysis of Adult Obesity: Results from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System," NBER Working Papers 9247, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Baum II, Charles L. & Ruhm, Christopher J., 2009. "Age, socioeconomic status and obesity growth," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 635-648, May.
  6. Courtemanche, Charles, 2008. "Working Yourself to Death? The Relationship Between Work Hours and Obesity," MPRA Paper 25324, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. John Cawley & Chad Meyerhoefer & David Newhouse, 2007. "The impact of state physical education requirements on youth physical activity and overweight," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(12), pages 1287-1301.
  8. Anderson, Patricia M. & Butcher, Kristin F. & Levine, Phillip B., 2003. "Maternal employment and overweight children," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 477-504, May.
  9. Caroline Minter Hoxby, 1994. "Does Competition Among Public Schools Benefit Students and Taxpayers?," NBER Working Papers 4979, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Patricia M. Anderson & Kristin F. Butcher, 2006. "Reading, Writing, and Refreshments: Are School Finances Contributing to Children’s Obesity?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(3).
  11. Zhang, Qi & Wang, Youfa, 2004. "Socioeconomic inequality of obesity in the United States: do gender, age, and ethnicity matter?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 58(6), pages 1171-1180, March.
  12. Classen, Timothy & Hokayem, Charles, 2005. "Childhood influences on youth obesity," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 165-187, July.
  13. Phipps, Shelley A. & Lethbridge, Lynn & Burton, Peter, 2006. "Long-run consequences of parental paid work hours for child overweight status in Canada," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(4), pages 977-986, February.
  14. Jayachandran N. Variyam & James Blaylock & Biing-Hwan Lin & Katherine Ralston & David Smallwood, 1999. "Mother's Nutrition Knowledge and Children's Dietary Intakes," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 81(2), pages 373-384.
  15. Cawley, John & Liu, Feng, 2012. "Maternal employment and childhood obesity: A search for mechanisms in time use data," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 352-364.
  16. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2004. "Parental Employment and Child Cognitive Development," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(1).
  17. Tomas J. Philipson & Richard A. Posner, 1999. "The Long-Run Growth in Obesity as a Function of Technological Change," NBER Working Papers 7423, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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