This paper examines the relationship between adolescent obesity and maternal employment, and focuses on the possible pathways and factors that mediate this relationship, including television viewing, activities, eating habits, and allowance. We extend existing knowledge about this relationship using the Canadian National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth for adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 in the years 1996 to 2001. Fixed effect and instrumental variable models are estimated to examine endogeneity issues.We find that maternal employment is negatively related to the pathway variables. In contrast to previous research, we find little indication of a relationship between maternal employment and adolescent obesity. These results imply that policy needs to focus on the activities of adolescents while their parents work.

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Applied Economic Perspective and Policy
School of Public Policy and Administration

Chowhan, J. (James), & Stewart, J. (2014). While mothers work do children shirk? Determinants of youth obesity. Applied Economic Perspective and Policy, 36(2), 287–308. doi:10.1093/aepp/ppt023