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Food Stamps and Food Insecurity: What Can Be Learned in the Presence of Non-Classical Measurement Error?

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  • Gundersen, Craig
  • Kreider, Brent

Abstract

Policymakers have been puzzled to observe that food stamp households appear more likely to be food insecure than observationally similar eligible nonparticipating households. We reexamine this issue allowing for nonclassical reporting errors in food stamp participation and food insecurity. Extending the literature on partially identified parameters, we introduce a nonparametric framework that makes transparent what can be known about conditional probabilities when a binary outcome and conditioning variable are both subject to nonclassical measurement error. We find that the food insecurity paradox hinges on strong assumptions about the reliability of the data that are not supported by the previous food stamp participation literature.

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File URL: http://www.econ.iastate.edu/sites/default/files/publications/papers/p5390-2006-10-30.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Iowa State University, Department of Economics in its series Staff General Research Papers with number 12690.

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Date of creation: 30 Oct 2006
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Publication status: Published in Journal of Human Resources, Spring 2008, vol. 43 no. 2, pp. 352-382
Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:12690

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Postal: Iowa State University, Dept. of Economics, 260 Heady Hall, Ames, IA 50011-1070
Phone: +1 515.294.6741
Fax: +1 515.294.0221
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Web page: http://www.econ.iastate.edu
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References

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  1. Donna K. Ginther, 2000. "Alternative Estimates of the Effect of Schooling on Earnings," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(1), pages 103-116, February.
  2. George J. Borjas, 2002. "Food Insecurity and Public Assistance," NBER Working Papers 9236, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Marianne Bitler & Craig Gundersen & Grace S. Marquis, 2005. "Are WIC Nonrecipients at Less Nutritional Risk Than Recipients? An Application of the Food Security Measure ," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 27(3), pages 433-438.
  4. Bound, John & Burkhauser, Richard V., 1999. "Economic analysis of transfer programs targeted on people with disabilities," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 51, pages 3417-3528 Elsevier.
  5. Barron, John M & Berger, Mark C & Black, Dan A, 1997. "Employer Search, Training, and Vacancy Duration," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(1), pages 167-92, January.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Horowitz, Joel L & Manski, Charles F, 1995. "Identification and Robustness with Contaminated and Corrupted Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(2), pages 281-302, March.
  9. Frazis, Harley & Loewenstein, Mark A., 2003. "Estimating linear regressions with mismeasured, possibly endogenous, binary explanatory variables," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 117(1), pages 151-178, November.
  10. Brent Kreider & Steven C. Hill, 2009. "Partially Identifying Treatment Effects with an Application to Covering the Uninsured," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(2).
  11. Kreider, Brent & Pepper, John V., 2007. "Disability and Employment: Reevaluating the Evidence in Light of Reporting Errors," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 102, pages 432-441, June.
  12. Molinari, Francesca, 2005. "Partial Identification of Probability Distributions with Misclassified Data," Working Papers 05-10, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
  13. Martin H. David & Christopher R. Bollinger, 2005. "I didn't tell, and I won't tell: dynamic response error in the SIPP," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(4), pages 563-569.
  14. Gundersen, Craig & Weinreb, Linda & Wehler, Cheryl & Hosmer, David, 2003. "Homelessness and food insecurity," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 250-272, September.
  15. John V. Pepper, 2000. "The Intergenerational Transmission Of Welfare Receipt: A Nonparametric Bounds Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(3), pages 472-488, August.
  16. Black, Dan & Sanders, Seth & Taylor, Lowell, 2003. "Measurement of Higher Education in the Census and Current Population Survey," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 98, pages 545-554, January.
  17. 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.
  18. Gundersen, Craig & Ribar, David C., 2005. "Food Insecurity and Insufficiency at Low Levels of Food Expenditures," IZA Discussion Papers 1594, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  19. Mark C. Berger & Dan A. Black & Frank A. Scott, 1998. "How Well Do We Measure Employer-Provided Health Insurance Coverage?," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 16(3), pages 356-367, 07.
  20. Kreider, Brent & Pepper, John V., 2003. "Inferring Disability Status from Corrupt Data," Staff General Research Papers 10228, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  21. 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.
  22. Christopher Bollinger & Martin H. David, 2000. "Estimation with Response Error and Non-Response: Food Stamp Participation in the SIPP," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0198, Econometric Society.
  23. Craig Gundersen & Susan Offutt, 2005. "Farm Poverty and Safety Nets," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(4), pages 885-899.
  24. Hamelin, Anne-Marie & Beaudry, Micheline & Habicht, Jean-Pierre, 2002. "Characterization of household food insecurity in Québec: food and feelings," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 119-132, January.
  25. Bollinger, Christopher R., 1996. "Bounding mean regressions when a binary regressor is mismeasured," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 387-399, August.
  26. Moffitt, Robert, 1983. "An Economic Model of Welfare Stigma," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 1023-35, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Charles L. Baum, 2011. "The Effects of Food Stamps on Obesity," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 623-651, January.
  2. Piperata, Barbara A. & Schmeer, Kammi K. & Hadley, Craig & Ritchie-Ewing, Genevieve, 2013. "Dietary inequalities of mother–child pairs in the rural Amazon: Evidence of maternal-child buffering?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 183-191.
  3. 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).
  4. Gundersen, Craig & Kreider, Brent & Pepper, John V., 2009. "The Impact of the National School Lunch Program on Child Health: A Nonparametric Bounds Analysis," Staff General Research Papers 13148, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  5. Charles Baum, 2012. "The effects of food stamp receipt on weight gained by expectant mothers," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 25(4), pages 1307-1340, October.
  6. Nikolas Mittag, 2013. "A Method Of Correcting For Misreporting Applied To The Food Stamp Program," Working Papers 13-28, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  7. Manan Roy, 2012. "Identifying the Effect of WIC on Infant Health When Participation is Endogenous and Misreported," Departmental Working Papers 1202, Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics.
  8. Gundersen, Craig & Kreider, Brent, 2009. "Bounding the effects of food insecurity on children's health outcomes," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 971-983, September.
  9. Beatty, Timothy K.M. & Tuttle, Charlotte, 2011. "Food Secure In 30 Minutes or Less: The Relationship Between Time Use and Food Security," 2011 Annual Meeting, July 24-26, 2011, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 103804, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  10. Gundersen, Craig & Jolliffe, Dean & Tiehen, Laura, 2009. "The challenge of program evaluation: When increasing program participation decreases the relative well-being of participants," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 367-376, August.
  11. Deokrye Baek, . "The Effect of Public Transportation Accessibility on Food Insecurity," Departmental Working Papers 2013-02, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.

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