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The Effect of Breastfeeding on Children's Cognitive and Noncognitive Development

Cristina Borra, Maria Iacovou and Almudena Sevilla ()

No 6697, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: This paper uses propensity score matching methods to investigate the relationship between breastfeeding and children's cognitive and noncognitive development. We find that breastfeeding for four weeks is positively and statistically significantly associated with higher cognitive test scores, by around one tenth of a standard deviation. The association between breastfeeding and noncognitive development is weaker, and is restricted to children of less educated mothers. We conclude that interventions which increase breastfeeding rates would improve not only children's health, but also their cognitive skills, and possibly also their noncognitive development.

Keywords: breastfeeding (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I10 J0 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 46 pages
Date: 2012-06
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dem, nep-hea and nep-neu
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Published - published in: Labour Economics, 2012, 19(4), 496-515.

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