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Food Stamps, Food Insufficiency and Health of the Elderly

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  • Ranney, Christine K.
  • Gomez, Miguel I.
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    Abstract

    Our overarching goal is to understand critical determinants of low-income elderly Americans’ well being as measured by health status. We focus on whether and how elderly health status is affected by FSP participation, food sufficiency and other determinants. To do so we must first ascertain (1) why so few needy elderly households choose to receive food stamps; (2) what determines their level of food insufficiency and finally; (3) how FSP participation and food insufficiency link to each other and then to health status. To meet our goal, we estimate and assess a unique econometric framework applied to an analysis database created specifically for this project. The analysis data are a subset of elderly households from the 2002 Health and Retirement Survey (HRS), consisting of those eligible for food stamps. State-specific eligibility criteria were obtained from the Urban Institute’s waiver database and from Center on Budget and Policy Priorities publications. The econometric model is structured in two steps. In the first, simultaneous multivariate Probit estimates of endogenous FSP participation and food insufficiency equations are estimated. From the results, we calculate predicted probabilities of participation and insufficiency for use in Step Two. This final step involves Ordered Probit estimation of self-reported health status. Because predicted variables from Step One are included as explanatory variables, we adjust the standard errors of the Ordered Probit estimates to allow for accurate hypothesis testing. We extend Murphy and Topel’s (1985) modification of standard errors for one predicted variable to handle two such variables. After correcting the standard errors, some coefficients lose their significance; most importantly, the positive coefficient for the probability of FSP participation. The significant coefficients that remain are: food insufficiency (+) income (-), widowed (+), Nonhispanic Black (-), exercise (-) and drink alcoholic beverages (-).

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management in its series Working Papers with number 126968.

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    Date of creation: 2010
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    Handle: RePEc:ags:cudawp:126968

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    Fax: 607-255-9984
    Web page: http://aem.cornell.edu/
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    Related research

    Keywords: Consumer/Household Economics; Food Security and Poverty; Health Economics and Policy;

    References

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    1. Newey, Whitney K., 1987. "Efficient estimation of limited dependent variable models with endogenous explanatory variables," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 231-250, November.
    2. Anonymous & Hamilton, William L. & Lin, Biing-Hwan, 2004. "Effects Of Food Assistance And Nutrition Programs On Nutrition And Health: Volume 3, Literature Review," Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Reports 33863, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    3. Bhattacharya, Jayanta & Currie, Janet & Haider, Steven, 2004. "Poverty, food insecurity, and nutritional outcomes in children and adults," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 839-862, July.
    4. Steven T. Yen & Margaret Andrews & Zhuo Chen & David B. Eastwood, 2008. "Food Stamp Program Participation and Food Insecurity: An Instrumental Variables Approach," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 90(1), pages 117-132.
    5. Parke E. Wilde & Christine K. Ranney, 2000. "The Monthly Food Stamp Cycle: Shooping Frequency and Food Intake Decisions in an Endogenous Switching Regression Framework," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 82(1), pages 200-213.
    6. Smallwood, David M. & Blaylock, James R., 1985. "Analysis Of Food Stamp Program Participation And Food Expenditures," Western Journal of Agricultural Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 10(01), July.
    7. Jensen, Helen H., 2002. "Food Insecurity and the Food Stamp Program," Staff General Research Papers 10161, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    8. Huffman, Sonya Kostova & Jensen, Helen H., 2003. "Do Food Assistance Programs Improve Household Food Security?: Recent Evidence From The United States," 2003 Annual meeting, July 27-30, Montreal, Canada 22219, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    9. Parke Wilde & Mark Nord, 2005. "The Effect of Food Stamps on Food Security: A Panel Data Approach ," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 27(3), pages 425-432.
    10. Nord, Mark & Andrews, Margaret S. & Carlson, Steven, 2009. "Household Food Security in the United States, 2008," Economic Research Report 55953, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    11. Craig Gundersen & Victor Oliveira, 2001. "The Food Stamp Program and Food Insufficiency," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 83(4), pages 875-887.
    12. Nord, Mark & Golla, Anne Marie, 2009. "Does SNAP Decrease Food Insecurity? Untangling the Self-Selection Effect," Economic Research Report 55955, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    13. Hausman, J. A. & Abrevaya, Jason & Scott-Morton, F. M., 1998. "Misclassification of the dependent variable in a discrete-response setting," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 239-269, September.
    14. Ribar, David C. & Hamrick, Karen S., 2003. "Dynamics Of Poverty And Food Sufficiency," Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Reports 33851, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    15. Judi Bartfeld & Rachel Dunifon, 2006. "State-level predictors of food insecurity among households with children," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(4), pages 921-942.
    16. Nord, Mark & Andrews, Margaret S. & Carlson, Steven, 2004. "Household Food Security In The United States, 2003," Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Reports 33835, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    17. Wilde, Parke E. & Cook, Peggy & Gundersen, Craig & Nord, Mark & Tiehen, Laura, 2000. "The Decline In Food Stamp Program Participation In The 1990'S," Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Reports 33793, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    18. Hamilton, William L. & Rossi, Peter H., 2002. "Effects Of Food Assistance And Nutrition Programs On Nutrition And Health, Volume 1, Research Design," Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Reports 33805, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    19. Jayanta Bhattacharya & Thomas DeLeire & Steven Haider & Janet Currie, 2002. "Heat or Eat? Cold Weather Shocks and Nutrition in Poor American Families," NBER Working Papers 9004, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Brian W. Gould, 2003. "An Empirical Assessment of Endogeneity Issues in Demand Analysis for Differentiated Products," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(3), pages 605-617.
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