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The effect of breastfeeding on young adult wages: new evidence from the add health

Resul Cesur (), Joseph J. Sabia (), Inas Kelly () and Muzhe Yang ()
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Joseph J. Sabia: San Diego State University
Muzhe Yang: Lehigh University

Review of Economics of the Household, 2017, vol. 15, issue 1, No 2, 25-51

Abstract: Abstract A growing literature in economics has examined the effect of early childhood health investments on adult human capital formation and labor market outcomes. This study is the first to examine the effect of having been breastfed as an infant on young adult earnings. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), ordinary least squares estimates suggest that breastfeeding is associated with a 10–12 % increase in hourly earnings. However, after ensuring common support on observables via propensity score matching and controlling for unmeasured family level heterogeneity common to siblings via family fixed effects, the estimated associations become much smaller and are statistically indistinguishable from zero. We conclude that the benefits of having been breastfed do not appear to extend to the labor market.

Keywords: Breastfeeding; Wages; Parental investments (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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DOI: 10.1007/s11150-016-9332-2

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