Sunday, August 30, 2009

Want to boost cognitive ability and health of teens?

Journal of Human Capital: The Effect of Breast Feeding on Educational Attainment: Evidence from Sibling Data (2009)

Summary of article:
Using data on sibling pairs drawn from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, we estimate the effect of having been breast-fed on high school graduation, high school grades, and college attendance. Our results suggest that breast feeding is associated with substantial increases in high school grade point average and in the probability of college attendance. Adding measures of cognitive ability and adolescent health to our model explains more than one-half of the estimated effect of being breast-fed on high school grades and approximately one-fifth of the estimated effect on college attendance. We conclude that improvements in cognitive ability and adolescent health may be important pathways through which breast feeding affects long-term academic achievement.

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