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Infant Health and the Labor Supply of Mothers


Blau, David M.; Guilkey, David K.; & Popkin, Barry M. (1996). Infant Health and the Labor Supply of Mothers. Journal of Human Resources, 31(1), 90-139.


We analyze the relationships among infant feeding, infant health, and the labor supply of mothers using detailed, longitudinal data from the Philippines. We find little evidence that maternal labor supply has a direct, causal effect on child health after accounting for the endogeneity of the mother's labor supply. Consistent with the predictions of economic theory, mothers with higher wage offers are more likely to work, less likely to breastfeed, and more likely to use infant formula. Mothers with higher wages have healthier children, while mothers facing higher food prices have less healthy children.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Journal of Human Resources


Blau, David M.
Guilkey, David K.
Popkin, Barry M.