Economics of Breastfeeding

2022 University Of Zurich I FLRF

Photo © Universität Zürich; Frank Brüderli

The Larsson-Rosenquist Foundation Center for Economics of Breastfeeding (LRF CEB) was jointly established in 2018 by the University of Zurich (UZH) and FLRF to improve global knowledge about the causes and consequences of breastfeeding.

It is the world’s first research center dedicated to the behavioral economics of breastfeeding.

Located at the UZH Department of Economics and directed by Professor David Yanagizawa-Drott, the primary aim of the center is to undertake high-quality research within economics of child and youth development with a focus on breastfeeding to inform policy-makers and public health organizations in designing policies and programs to improve child and youth development.

The LRF CEB is exploring questions such as:

  • How do the effects of breastfeeding differ across socioeconomic backgrounds?
  • What are the behavioral – economic, cultural and psychological – determinants of breastfeeding?
  • Which policies, interventions and nudges are potential catalysts by which breastfeeding facilitates progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?
  • Can we identity win-win interventions?

For further reading on SDGs and potential win-win interventions, see this article in Nature Sustainability.

These investigations complement research from other centers within the multidisciplinary network on neurodevelopment and epidemiology.

The LRF CEB’s research findings have the potential to generate significant global impact by accelerating the understanding of the behavioral economics of breastfeeding to benefit the long-term health of women and children worldwide. The center seeks to determine how breastfeeding impacts the socio-emotional development of youth that can help balance social, economic and environmental sustainability.

The research will lead to why breastfeeding promotion is important in terms of labor market outcomes; improved breastfeeding will in turn support SDGs 3, 4 and 8:

FLRF donated CHF 10 million to endow the LRF CEB – read the press release

Brenøe A and Zölitz, U. Exposure to more female peers widens the gender gap in STEM participation. J Labor Econ. Forthcoming 2020.

Brenøe A and Lundberg S. Gender Gaps in the Effects of Childhood Family Environment: Do They Persist into Adulthood? Eur Econ Rev. 2018 Oct; (109):46-62. DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2017.04.004.

Brenøe A and Molitor R. Birth Order and Health of Newborns: What Can We Learn from Danish Registry Data? J Popul Econ. 2018; 31(4):363-395. DOI: 10.1007/s00148-017-0660-1.

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