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Location, School Characteristics, and the Cost of School Meals

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Author Info

  • Ollinger, Michael
  • Ralston, Katherine L.
  • Guthrie, Joanne F.

Abstract

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reimburses schools for meals provided to students participating in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. Reimbursement amounts are based on national average estimated costs of meal production. Food prices, however, vary across the United States, suggesting regional cost differences. This paper uses a qualityadjusted translog variable-cost function to show how costs per meal vary across twenty-one U.S. locations. The average deviation from national average cost is about $0.38 per meal; the average cost deviation attributed to input prices is $0.17 and the scale effect is $0.135.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/142351
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Western Agricultural Economics Association in its journal Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics.

Volume (Year): 37 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 (December)
Pages:

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Handle: RePEc:ags:jlaare:142351

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Web page: http://waeaonline.org/
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Related research

Keywords: National School Lunch Program; School Breakfast Program; school food service costs per meal; school meals; Community/Rural/Urban Development; Health Economics and Policy; Public Economics;

References

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  1. Rosen, Sherwin, 1974. "Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Product Differentiation in Pure Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(1), pages 34-55, Jan.-Feb..
  2. Diewert, Walter E & Wales, Terence J, 1987. "Flexible Functional Forms and Global Curvature Conditions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(1), pages 43-68, January.
  3. David M. Blau & H. Naci Mocan, 1999. "The Supply of Quality in Child Care Centers," NBER Working Papers 7225, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Anne Gordon & Mary Kay Fox, 2007. "School Nutrition Dietary Assessment Study-III: Summary of Findings," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 5673, Mathematica Policy Research.
  5. Gertler, Paul J & Waldman, Donald M, 1992. "Quality-Adjusted Cost Functions and Policy Evaluation in the Nursing Home Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(6), pages 1232-56, December.
  6. Milton Madison, 2005. "Technological Change and Economies of Scale in U.S. Poultry Processing," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(1), pages 116-129.
  7. Allen, W Bruce & Liu, Dong, 1995. "Service Quality and Motor Carrier Costs: An Empirical Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(3), pages 499-510, August.
  8. Milton Madison & James MacDonald & Michael Ollinger, 2000. "Technological Change and Economies of Scale in U.S. Poultry Slaughter," Working Papers 00-05, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  9. John M. Antle, 2000. "No Such Thing as a Free Safe Lunch: The Cost of Food Safety Regulation in the Meat Industry," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 82(2), pages 310-322.
  10. James M MacDonald & Michael E Ollinger, 2000. "Scale Economies and Consolidation in Hog Slaughter," Working Papers 00-03, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  11. Weninger, Quinn, 2003. "Estimating Multiproduct Costs when Some Outputs Are Not Produced," Staff General Research Papers 10830, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  12. Thomas Triebs & David S. Saal & Pablo Arocena & Subal C. Kumbhakar, 2012. "Estimating Economies of Scale and Scope with Flexible Technology," Ifo Working Paper Series Ifo Working Paper No. 142, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
  13. Quinn Moore & Lara Hulsey & Michael Ponza, 2009. "Factors Associated with School Meal Participation and the Relationship Between Different Participation Measures," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 6295, Mathematica Policy Research.
  14. Baltagi, Badi H & Griffin, James M & Rich, Daniel P, 1995. "Airline Deregulation: The Cost Pieces of the Puzzle," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 36(1), pages 245-60, February.
  15. James M. MacDonald & Michael E. Ollinger, 2000. "Scale Economies and Consolidation in Hog Slaughter," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 82(2), pages 334-346.
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