The Connection Between Maternal Employment and Childhood Obesity: Inspecting the Mechanisms
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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