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Food Insecurity And Insufficiency At Low Levels Of Food Expenditures

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  • CRAIG GUNDERSEN
  • DAVID RIBAR

Abstract

This study uses data from the December 2003 Food Security Supplement of the CPS to compare the food insufficiency and insecurity measures with objective measures of food expenditures and objective and subjective measures of food needs. The study examines the general relationships between these variables and finds that reports of food hardships are positively associated with food expenditures and negatively associated with needs. The study goes on to examine reports of food hardships at low very levels of food expenditures, where we conjecture that most people should experience food problems. When expenditures are scaled by an objective measure of needs, there is no point along the expenditure distribution where more than half of the survey respondents report experiencing being food insufficient or insecure. However, when expenditures are scaled by a subjective threshold, we observe near-universal reporting of food problems at low levels of expenditures. The findings indicate that the food insufficiency and insecurity measures each incorporate a large subjective component, which limits the usefulness of the measures for comparing the extent of food hardships across populations or over time or evaluating the effects of assistance programs.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1475-4991.2011.00471.x
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by International Association for Research in Income and Wealth in its journal Review of Income and Wealth.

Volume (Year): 57 (2011)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 704-726

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Handle: RePEc:bla:revinw:v:57:y:2011:i:4:p:704-726

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References

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  1. Craig Gundersen & Victor Oliveira, 2001. "The Food Stamp Program and Food Insufficiency," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 83(4), pages 875-887.
  2. Bhattacharya, Jayanta & Currie, Janet & Haider, Steven, 2004. "Poverty, food insecurity, and nutritional outcomes in children and adults," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 839-862, July.
  3. Ribar, David C. & Hamrick, Karen S., 2003. "Dynamics Of Poverty And Food Sufficiency," Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Reports, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service 33851, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  4. George J. Borjas, 2001. "Food Insecurity and Public Assistance," JCPR Working Papers, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research 243, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  5. Kapteyn, A.J. & Kooreman, P. & Willemse, R.J., 1988. "Some methodological issues in the implementation of subjective poverty definitions," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-364358, Tilburg University.
  6. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2004. "Subjective Outcomes in Economics," NBER Working Papers 10361, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Mazur, Robert E & Marquis, Grace S & Jensen, Helen H., 2003. "Diet and Food Insufficiency Among Hispanic Youth: Acculturation and Socioeconomic Determinants in Nhanes III," Staff General Research Papers, Iowa State University, Department of Economics 10668, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  8. Gundersen, Craig & Weinreb, Linda & Wehler, Cheryl & Hosmer, David, 2003. "Homelessness and food insecurity," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 250-272, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Gundersen, Craig & Kreider, Brent, 2008. "Bounding the Effects of Food Insecurity on Children's Health Outcomes," Staff General Research Papers, Iowa State University, Department of Economics 13008, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  2. Craig Gundersen & Brent Kreider, 2008. "Food Stamps and Food Insecurity: What Can Be Learned in the Presence of Nonclassical Measurement Error?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(2), pages 352-382.
  3. Kelly Noonan & Hope Corman & Nancy E. Reichman, 2014. "Effects of Maternal Depression on Family Food Insecurity," NBER Working Papers 20113, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Laura Leete & Neil Bania, 2010. "The effect of income shocks on food insufficiency," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 505-526, December.
  5. Millimet, Daniel L. & Roy, Manan, 2013. "Partial Identification of the Long-Run Causal Effect of Food Security on Child Health," IZA Discussion Papers 7457, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Howard, Larry L., 2011. "Does food insecurity at home affect non-cognitive performance at school? A longitudinal analysis of elementary student classroom behavior," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 157-176, February.

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