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Food for Thought? Breastfeeding and Child Development

  • Emla Fitzsimons


    (Department of Quantitative Social Science, Institute of Education, University of London)

  • Marcos Vera-Hernández


    (University College London)

We show that children who are born at the weekend or just before are less likely to be breastfed, owing to poorer breastfeeding support services at weekends. We use this variation to estimate the effect of breastfeeding on children’s development for a sample of uncomplicated births from low educated mothers. We find that breastfeeding has large effects on children’s cognitive development, but not on non-cognitive development or health. Regarding mechanisms, we estimate how breastfeeding affects parental investments in the child and the quality of the mother-child relationship.

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Paper provided by Department of Quantitative Social Science - UCL Institute of Education, University College London in its series DoQSS Working Papers with number 14-04.

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Date of creation: 17 Feb 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:qss:dqsswp:1404
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