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

37 Pages Posted: 6 Dec 2006  

Angela R. Fertig

Medica Research Institute

Gerhard Glomm

Indiana University Bloomington - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Rusty Tchernis

Georgia State University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: December 6, 2006

Abstract

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.

Keywords: Childhood Obesity, Labor Supply, Time Allocations

JEL Classification: H75, I12, J13, J22

Suggested Citation

Fertig, Angela R. and Glomm, Gerhard and Tchernis, Rusty, The Connection between Maternal Employment and Childhood Obesity: Inspecting the Mechanisms (December 6, 2006). CAEPR Working Paper No. 2006-020. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=949855 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.949855

Angela R. Fertig (Contact Author)

Medica Research Institute ( email )

401 Carlson Parkway
Minnetonka, MN 55305
United States

Gerhard Glomm

Indiana University Bloomington - Department of Economics ( email )

Wylie Hall
Bloomington, IN 47405-6620
United States
812-855-7256 (Phone)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Rusty Tchernis

Georgia State University - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 3992
Atlanta, GA 30302-3992
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www2.gsu.edu/~ecort

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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