The effect of breastfeeding on children's cognitive development
This paper uses Propensity Score Matching to investigate the causal effect of breastfeeding on childrenâ€™s cognitive development. There is a strong association between breastfeeding and cognitive outcomes; however, it is notoriously difficult to establish whether this is causal, or whether it arises because mothers who breastfeed tend to be those whose children would do better anyway. Using PSM, we find that breastfeeding for four weeks has a positive and significant effect on test scores, in the order of one tenth of a standard deviation. Thus, interventions which increase breastfeeding rates may improve not only childrenâ€™s health, but also their cognitive skills.
|Date of creation:||10 Dec 2010|
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|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Publications Office, Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex CO4 3SQ UK|
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