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Bounding the Effects of Food Insecurity on Children's Health Outcomes

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  • Gundersen, Craig
  • Kreider, Brent

Abstract

Previous research has estimated that food insecure children are more likely to suffer from a wide array of negative health outcomes than food secure children, leading many to claim that alleviating food insecurity would lead to better health outcomes. Identifying the causal impacts is problematic, however, given endogenous selection into food security status and potential classification errors in measuring food security status. Using recently developed nonparametric bounding methods and data from the 2001-2006 National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES), we assess what can be identified about the effects of food insecurity on child health outcomes in the presence of nonrandom selection and nonclassical measurement error. Under relatively weak monotonicity assumptions, we can identify that food security has a statistically significant positive impact on good general health and being a healthy weight. Our work suggests that previous research has more likely underestimated than overestimated the causal impacts on health.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Iowa State University, Department of Economics in its series Staff General Research Papers with number 13008.

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Date of creation: 13 Dec 2008
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Publication status: Published in Journal of Health Economics, September 2009, vol. 28 no. 5, pp. 971-983
Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:13008

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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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Keywords: food insecurity; health outcomes; nonparametric bounds; nonclassical measurement error; average treatment effect;

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References

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  1. Molinari, Francesca, 2010. "Missing Treatments," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 28(1), pages 82-95.
  2. Craig Gundersen & David Ribar, 2011. "Food Insecurity And Insufficiency At Low Levels Of Food Expenditures," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 57(4), pages 704-726, December.
  3. Molinari, Francesca, 2005. "Partial Identification of Probability Distributions with Misclassified Data," Working Papers 05-10, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
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  5. Nord, Mark & Andrews, Margaret S. & Carlson, Steven, 2008. "Household Food Security in the United States, 2007," Economic Research Report 56483, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  6. Guido Imbens & Charles F. Manski, 2003. "Confidence intervals for partially identified parameters," CeMMAP working papers CWP09/03, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  7. Brent Kreider & John V. Pepper & Craig Gundersen & Dean Jolliffe, 2012. "Identifying the Effects of SNAP (Food Stamps) on Child Health Outcomes When Participation Is Endogenous and Misreported," Journal of the American Statistical Association, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 107(499), pages 958-975, September.
  8. Currie, Alison & Shields, Michael A. & Price, Stephen Wheatley, 2007. "The child health/family income gradient: Evidence from England," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 213-232, March.
  9. 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.
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  11. Dubois, Lise & Farmer, Anna & Girard, Manon & Porcherie, Marion, 2006. "Family food insufficiency is related to overweight among preschoolers'," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(6), pages 1503-1516, September.
  12. 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).
  13. Kreider, Brent & Pepper, John V., 2003. "Inferring Disability Status from Corrupt Data," Staff General Research Papers 10228, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  14. Bollinger, Christopher R., 1996. "Bounding mean regressions when a binary regressor is mismeasured," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 387-399, August.
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  19. Gundersen, Craig & Kreider, Brent, 2006. "Food Stamps and Food Insecurity: What Can Be Learned in the Presence of Non-Classical Measurement Error?," Staff General Research Papers 12690, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  20. Dowd, Jennifer Beam, 2007. "Early childhood origins of the income/health gradient: The role of maternal health behaviors," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 65(6), pages 1202-1213, September.
  21. Brent Kreider, 2010. "Regression Coefficient Identification Decay in The Presence of Infrequent Classification Errors," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(4), pages 1017-1023, November.
  22. van Doorslaer, Eddy & Gerdtham, Ulf-G., 2003. "Does inequality in self-assessed health predict inequality in survival by income? Evidence from Swedish data," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 57(9), pages 1621-1629, November.
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  26. 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.
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  28. Kreider, Brent & Pepper, John V., 2003. "Disability and Employment: Reevaluating the Evidence in Light of Reporting Errors," Staff General Research Papers 10229, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Gundersen, Craig & Kreider, Brent & Pepper, John, 2012. "The impact of the National School Lunch Program on child health: A nonparametric bounds analysis," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 166(1), pages 79-91.
  2. Okumura, Tsunao & Usui, Emiko, 2010. "Concave-Monotone Treatment Response and Monotone Treatment Selection: With an Application to the Returns to Schooling," IZA Discussion Papers 4986, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. 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, vol. 30(1), pages 157-176, February.
  4. 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.
  5. Joshua C.C. Chan & Justin L. Tobias, 2012. "Priors and Posterior Computation in Linear Endogenous Variable Models with Imperfect Instruments," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2012-580, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
  6. Jian Huang & Henriëtte Maassen van den Brink & Wim Groot, 2012. "Does education promote social capital? Evidence from IV analysis and nonparametric-bound analysis," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 42(3), pages 1011-1034, June.
  7. Johnson, Ari & Goss, Adeline & Beckerman, Jessica & Castro, Arachu, 2012. "Hidden costs: The direct and indirect impact of user fees on access to malaria treatment and primary care in Mali," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(10), pages 1786-1792.
  8. Lafférs, Lukáš, 2013. "A note on bounding average treatment effects," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 120(3), pages 424-428.
  9. Grafova, Irina B. & Freedman, Vicki A. & Lurie, Nicole & Kumar, Rizie & Rogowski, Jeannette, 2014. "The difference-in-difference method: Assessing the selection bias in the effects of neighborhood environment on health," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 13(C), pages 20-33.
  10. Martin, Molly A. & Lippert, Adam M., 2012. "Feeding her children, but risking her health: The intersection of gender, household food insecurity and obesity," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(11), pages 1754-1764.
  11. 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.

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