Maternal labour supply and childhood obesity in Canada: Evidence from the NLSCY
Authors: Y. F. Chia
This paper investigates the socioeconomic factors affecting childhood overweight and obesity in Canada using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth. In particular, I attempt to address the issue of whether an increase in the mother’s work intensity is associated with an increase in the risk of the child’s becoming overweight or obese. I also attempt to evaluate the causality of this relationship and the mechanisms that might facilitate this link. The results suggest that an increase in the mother’s work intensity when she first returned to work in the period after the child’s birth and before the child started school is associated with an increase in the risk of the child’s becoming overweight or obese later in childhood. Conditional on the mother returning to work in the period between the child’s birth and the start of school for the child, a 10-hour increase in the number of hours worked per week when the mother first returned to work is associated with an increase in the probability that the child later becomes overweight or obese that is in the range of 2.5 to 4 percentage points
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