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"Billions and Billions Served" Heterogeneous Effects of Food Source on Child Dietary Quality

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  • Smith, Travis A.
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    Abstract

    This paper estimates heterogeneous e ects of food source (food away from home, at home and from school) on child dietary quality. Using a quantile estimator designed for panel data, two non-consecutive days of intake are used to identify the e ect of food source across the unconditional distribution of dietary quality. Main results suggest that food away from home has a negative impact on dietary quality for all children except those falling in the very lowest portion of the unconditional distribution. As compared to home-prepared food, school food is found to increase dietary quality for children falling in the bottom quartile of the distribution. For children with a very high underlying proneness to consume a healthful diet, food from school has a negative e ect. While food consumed under the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs may not bene t every child (especially at the mean), it does improve the diets of many children whom otherwise would have poorer dietary quality. The implication is that U.S. schools are fertile grounds to improve nutrition skill formation, especially for the most disadvantaged.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in its series 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. with number 151212.

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    Date of creation: 29 May 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea13:151212

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    Keywords: Unconditional quantiles; panel data; dietary quality; school food programs; Consumer/Household Economics; Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety; Public Economics; C31; D39; I12; I18;

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    1. Ralston, Katherine L. & Newman, Constance & Clauson, Annette L. & Guthrie, Joanne F. & Buzby, Jean C., 2008. "The National School Lunch Program: Background, Trends, and Issues," Economic Research Report 56464, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    2. Daniel L. Millimet & Rusty Tchernis & Muna Husain, 2008. "School Nutrition Programs and the Incidence of Childhood Obesity," NBER Working Papers 14297, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Ivan A. Canay, 2011. "A simple approach to quantile regression for panel data," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 14(3), pages 368-386, October.
    4. Philip M. Gleason & Carol W. Suitor, 2003. "Eating at School: How the National School Lunch Program Affects Children's Diets," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(4), pages 1047-1061.
    5. James J. Heckman & Dimitriy V. Masterov, 2007. "The Productivity Argument for Investing in Young Children," NBER Working Papers 13016, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Mancino, Lisa & Todd, Jessica E. & Guthrie, Joanne F. & Lin, Biing-Hwan, 2010. "How Food Away From Home Affects Children's Diet Quality," Economic Research Report 134700, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    7. Charles F. Manski & John V. Pepper, 1998. "Monotone Instrumental Variables: With an Application to the Returns to Schooling," Virginia Economics Online Papers 308, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
    8. Koenker, Roger, 2004. "Quantile regression for longitudinal data," Journal of Multivariate Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 74-89, October.
    9. Beatty, Timothy K.M. & Lin, Biing-Hwan & Smith, Travis A., 2012. "Distributional Changes in U.S. Dietary Quality 1989-2008," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124945, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    10. Daniel McFadden, 2008. "Human Capital Accumulation and Depreciation ," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 30(3), pages 379-385.
    11. Chernozhukov, Victor & Hansen, Christian, 2008. "Instrumental variable quantile regression: A robust inference approach," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(1), pages 379-398, January.
    12. Lin, Biing-Hwan & Guthrie, Joanne F., 2012. "Nutritional Quality of Food Prepared at Home and Away From Home, 1977-2008," Economic Information Bulletin 142361, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    13. Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, 2009. "Do School Lunches Contribute to Childhood Obesity?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(3).
    14. Bhattacharya, Debopam, 2005. "Asymptotic inference from multi-stage samples," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 126(1), pages 145-171, May.
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