The Effects of Workplace Breastfeeding-Friendly Policies on Children’s Feeding Outcomes in the United States
Siying Liu, University of Pittsburgh
This paper investigates the causal impact of providing unpaid break time and a special space for nursing employees to express breastmilk at the workplace on women's feeding and labor market outcomes. I exploit plausibly exogenous variation in timing of state mandates on workplace lactation support, using the National Immunization Survey and the Current Population Survey data. I find that the workplace benefits increase the amount of breastfeeding: the percentage of mothers who ever breastfeed increased by 0.8 percentage point, and the duration of breastfeeding increased by 5.5%. With the benefits, infant mothers work for longer hours per day (3.3% longer) and receive higher hourly wages (3.8% higher). The results are consistent with a standard search model as in Pissarides (2000) extended to include firms' provision of workplace breastfeeding benefits, which increases firms' cost of hiring but reduces workers' disutility of breastfeeding under employment.
Presented in Session 108: Work-Place Practices and Policies