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I'm not fat, just too short for my weight - Family Child Care and Obesity in Germany

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  • Philippe Mahler

    (Socioeconomic Institute, University of Zurich)

Abstract

Obesity is increasing worldwide for both adults and children. Genetic disposition is responsible for some variation in body weight but cannot explain the dramatic increase in the last two decades. The increase must be due to structural and behavioral changes. One such behavioral change is the increase in working females in the last decades. The absence from the mother reduces potential child care time in the family. Reduced child care time may have adverse effects on the prevalence of obesity in children and adults. This paper analyzes the effect of mother�s labor supply in childhood on young adults probability of being obese in Germany. Using a sample drawn from the German Socio-Economic Panel the results show that a higher labor supply of the mother increases the probability for her child to be obese as young adult. This result underlines the importance of childhood environment on children�s later life outcome and the importance of behavioral changes in explaining the increase in obesity.

Suggested Citation

  • Philippe Mahler, 2007. "I'm not fat, just too short for my weight - Family Child Care and Obesity in Germany," SOI - Working Papers 0707, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:soz:wpaper:0707
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    File URL: https://www.econ.uzh.ch/apps/workingpapers/wp/wp0707.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2007
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Meyer, Sophie-Charlotte, 2016. "Maternal employment and childhood overweight in Germany," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 84-102.
    2. Sophie-Charlotte Meyer, 2015. "Maternal Employment and Childhood Overweight in Germany," Schumpeter Discussion Papers SDP15005, Universitätsbibliothek Wuppertal, University Library.
    3. Dimitrios Minos, 2020. "“Eat, my child.” Obesity among children in developing countries: Evidence from South Africa," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(4), pages 1300-1311, November.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    GSOEP; obesity; female labor supply; child care; sibling estimation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General

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