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Take-up of Free School Meals: price effects and peer effects

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  • Holford, Angus

Abstract

Almost 300,000 entitled children do not participate in the UKs Free School Meals (FSM) programme, worth up to 400 per year. Welfare take-up can be deterred by stigma and lack of information. This paper uses a school-level dataset and fixed-effect instrumental variables strategy to show that peer-group participation has a substantial role in overcoming these barriers. Identification of endogenous peer effects is achieved by exploiting a scheme which extended FSM entitlement to all children in some school cohorts. Results show that in a typical school a 10 percentage point rise in peer-group take-up would reduce non-participation by almost a quarter.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for Social and Economic Research in its series ISER Working Paper Series with number 2012-12.

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Date of creation: 20 Jul 2012
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Publication status: published
Handle: RePEc:ese:iserwp:2012-12

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Postal: Publications Office, Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex CO4 3SQ UK
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Postal: Publications Office, Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex CO4 3SQ UK
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  1. Anna Aizer & Janet Currie, 2002. "Networks or Neighborhoods? Correlations in the Use of Publicly-Funded Maternity Care in California," NBER Working Papers 9209, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Ethan Cohen-Cole & Giulio Zanella, 2008. "Welfare Stigma or Information Sharing? Decomposing Social Interactions Effects in Social Benefit Use," Department of Economics University of Siena 531, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
  3. John S. Akin & David K. Guilkey & Barry M. Popkin & James H. Wyckoff, 1983. "The Demand for School Lunches: An Analysis of Individual Participation in the School Lunch Program," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 18(2), pages 213-230.
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