Child care subsidies and childhood obesity

Chris Herbst, Erdal Tekin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

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
Volume9
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2011

Keywords

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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics

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