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Maternal employment and childhood obesity in China: evidence from the China Health and Nutrition Survey

  • Peng Nie
  • Alfonso Sousa-Poza

Using five waves from the China Health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS), we investigate the association between maternal employment and obesity in children aged 3--17 in both rural and urban China. Using body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC) as measures for paediatric adiposity, we provide scant evidence for its relation to maternal employment. We also find no strong association between maternal employment and our measures for children's diet and physical activity. Our study also suggests that grand-parenting could have beneficial effects on childhood obesity.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1080/00036846.2014.902025
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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 46 (2014)
Issue (Month): 20 (July)
Pages: 2418-2428

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Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:46:y:2014:i:20:p:2418-2428
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  1. Chris Herbst & Erdal Tekin, 2011. "Child care subsidies and childhood obesity," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 349-378, September.
  2. Gwozdz, Wencke & Sousa-Poza, Alfonso & Reisch, Lucia A. & Ahrens, Wolfgang & De Henauw, Stefaan & Eiben, Gabriele & Fernández-Alvira, Juan M. & Hadjigeorgiou, Charalampos & Kovács, Eva & Lauria, Fabio, 2013. "Maternal Employment and Childhood Obesity: A European Perspective," IZA Discussion Papers 7371, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Patricia M. Anderson & Kristin F. Butcher & Phillip B. Levine, 2002. "Maternal employment and overweight children," Working Paper Series WP-02-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  4. Lisa Benson & Manouchehr Mokhtari, 2011. "Parental Employment, Shared Parent–Child Activities and Childhood Obesity," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 233-244, June.
  5. Haiyong Liu, 2008. "The China health and nutrition survey: an important database for poverty and inequality research," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 373-376, December.
  6. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2000. "Parental Employment and Child Cognitive Development," NBER Working Papers 7666, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Stephanie von Hinke Kessler Scholder, 2008. "Maternal employment and overweight children: does timing matter?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(8), pages 889-906.
  8. Yee Fei Chia, 2008. "Maternal labour supply and childhood obesity in Canada: evidence from the NLSCY," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 41(1), pages 217-242, February.
  9. Greve, Jane, 2011. "New results on the effect of maternal work hours on children's overweight status: Does the quality of child care matter?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 579-590, October.
  10. James Bishop, 2011. "The Effect of Maternal Employment on Youth Overweight in Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 87(s1), pages 92-104, 09.
  11. Burkhauser, Richard V. & Cawley, John, 2008. "Beyond BMI: The value of more accurate measures of fatness and obesity in social science research," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 519-529, March.
  12. Baker, Michael & Milligan, Kevin, 2008. "Maternal employment, breastfeeding, and health: Evidence from maternity leave mandates," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 871-887, July.
  13. Ziol-Guest, Kathleen M. & Dunifon, Rachel E. & Kalil, Ariel, 2013. "Parental employment and children's body weight: Mothers, others, and mechanisms," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 52-59.
  14. Jens Bonke & Jane Greve, 2012. "Children’s health-related life-styles: how parental child care affects them," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 557-572, December.
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  16. Brown, Judith E. & Broom, Dorothy H. & Nicholson, Jan M. & Bittman, Michael, 2010. "Do working mothers raise couch potato kids? Maternal employment and children's lifestyle behaviours and weight in early childhood," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 70(11), pages 1816-1824, June.
  17. repec:taf:jnlbes:v:30:y:2012:i:1:p:67-80 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Emma García & José M. Labeaga & Ana Carolina Ortega Masagué, 2006. "Maternal Employment and Childhood Obesity in Spain," Working Papers 2006-17, FEDEA.
  19. Liu, Echu & Hsiao, Cheng & Matsumoto, Tomoya & Chou, Shinyi, 2009. "Maternal full-time employment and overweight children: Parametric, semi-parametric, and non-parametric assessment," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 152(1), pages 61-69, September.
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