Maternal Work Hours and Childhood Obesity: Evidence Using Instrumental Variables Related to Sibling School Eligibility

Charles Courtemanche, Rusty Tchernis, Xilin Zhou
2019 Journal of Human Capital  
This study exploits plausibly exogenous variation derived from the youngest sibling's school eligibility to estimate the effects of maternal work on the weight outcomes of older children. We first show that mothers' work hours increase gradually along both the extensive and intensive margins as the age of the youngest child rises, whereas mothers' spouses' work hours do not appear to be responsive. We develop an instrumental-variables model that shows that mothers' work hours lead to larger
more » ... lead to larger increases in children's body mass index z-scores and probabilities of being overweight/obese than those identified in previous studies. Subsample analyses find that the effects are concentrated among advantaged households. We thank the editors Jane Fruehwirth and Isaac Ehrlich, two anonymous referees, Rachana
doi:10.1086/705609 fatcat:7jjxkq2aybbwlhrgagwthpes44