The effects of breastfeeding on health and the demand for medical assistance among children in Brazil

Benjamin Senauer, Ana L. Kassouf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study contains several unique features that add to the literature documenting the health benefits of breastfeeding. We use data from the 1989 Brazilian National Health and Nutrition Survey to analyze the effects of breastfeeding on child health and the effect of health on the demand for medical care. The underlying theoretical framework for this study is the household economic model of Gary Becker, from which health production and demand functions can be specified. Health production functions are estimated, with health being measured by whether the child had been ill during the past 2 weeks and also by height for age. The former is a measure of morbidity (the absence of health), and the latter is a standard anthropometric measure. Demand for medical care functions are then estimated in which the child's health is one factor that affects the decision to seek medical assistance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)719-736
Number of pages18
JournalEconomic Development and Cultural Change
Volume48
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000

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