We seek to estimate the effects of breastfeeding on the present value of future earnings increases resulting from IQ increases. Using new estimates of the effect of cognitive performance on lifetime earnings in the United States, based on the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, developed by Lin, Lutter, and Ruhm (2016) and new baseline estimates of the present value of lifetime earnings following methods of Grosse et al. (2002), we find that the expected value of increases in the present value of lifetime earnings from breastfeeding is about $20,000, assuming a 3 percent discount rate, with a 95 percent confidence interval from $2,900 to $38,700. If half of all US infants born each year were better breastfed, we estimate the total increase in the present value of future earnings to be $40 billion annually.
Fellow and Director, Carbon Pricing Initiative
Common Resources — Apr 24, 2020
Preparation Now for Environmental Opportunities in Fiscal Stimulus Programs
Coronavirus will motivate some fiscal stimulus spending proposals that could benefit the environment, as long as proponents of environmental programs are prepared for the opportunities.
Common Resources — Mar 18, 2020
Local Economic Impacts of Federal Protected Lands: National Monuments in the Mountain West
The prospect of lost livelihoods can produce conflict over the limits that national monuments place on land use, but creating monuments can also create value by growing new industries related to recreation and tourism.
Resources Articles — Mar 18, 2020
It’s a Good Time for Women to Win the Nobel Prize
Catherine Wolfram discusses last year's historic Nobel Prize in Economics, reviews the significance of randomized controlled trials, and shares wisdom for women in economics.