Child care subsidies and childhood obesity

Chris Herbst, Erdal Tekin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    30 Scopus citations


    In this paper, we study the impact of child care subsidy receipt on low-income children's weight outcomes in the fall and spring of kindergarten using data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Cohort. Our results suggest that subsidy receipt is associated with increases in BMI and a greater likelihood of being overweight and obese. Using quantile regression methods, we find substantial variation in subsidy effects across the BMI distribution. Specifically, child care subsidies have no effect on BMI at the lower end of the distribution, inconsistent effects in the middle of the distribution, and large effects at the top of the distribution. Our results point to the use of non-parental child care, particularly center-based services, as the key mechanism through which subsidies influence children's weight outcomes.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)349-378
    Number of pages30
    JournalReview of Economics of the Household
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Sep 2011


    • Body mass index
    • Child care
    • Obesity
    • Quantile regression
    • Subsidy

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
    • Economics and Econometrics


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