The connection between maternal employment and childhood obesity: inspecting the mechanisms


DOI: 10.1007/s11150-009-9052-y

Cite this article as:
Fertig, A., Glomm, G. & Tchernis, R. Rev Econ Household (2009) 7: 227. doi:10.1007/s11150-009-9052-y


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 combines information on children’s time allocation, children’s BMI, and mother’s labor force participation. We find some evidence that supervision and nutrition play significant but small roles in the relationship between maternal employment and childhood obesity. Although the difference in the effect of maternal employment varies by mother’s education, we find few differences in the mechanisms by mother’s education.


Maternal employment Childhood obesity Time use data 

JEL Classicification

I12 J13 J22 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  2. 2.Indiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  3. 3.Indiana University and NBERBloomingtonUSA

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