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Do Food Stamps Cause Obesity? Evidence from Immigrant Experience

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  • Neeraj Kaushal

Abstract

I use changes in immigrant eligibility for food stamps under the 1996 federal law and heterogeneous state responses to set up a natural experiment research design to study the effect of food stamps on Body Mass Index (BMI) of adults in immigrant families. I find that in the post-1996 period food stamps use by foreign-born unmarried mothers with a high school or lower education was 10 percentage points higher in states with substitute programs than in states that implemented the federal ban. However, this increase in FSP participation was not associated with any statistically significant difference in BMI. I find that FSP participation was associated a statistically insignificant 0.3 percent increase in BMI among low-educated unmarried mothers.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12849.

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Date of creation: Jan 2007
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Publication status: published as Kaushal, N., 2007. "Do food stamps cause obesity?: Evidence from immigrant experience," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 968-991, September.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12849

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  1. Shapiro, Jesse M., 2005. "Is there a daily discount rate? Evidence from the food stamp nutrition cycle," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2-3), pages 303-325, February.
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  8. Gordon-Larsen, Penny & Harris, Kathleen Mullan & Ward, Dianne S. & Popkin, Barry M., 2003. "Acculturation and overweight-related behaviors among Hispanic immigrants to the US: the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 57(11), pages 2023-2034, December.
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Roy, Manan & Millimet, Daniel L. & Tchernis, Rusty, 2010. "Federal Nutrition Programs and Childhood Obesity: Inside the Black Box," IZA Discussion Papers 5316, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Han, Euna & Powell, Lisa M. & Pugach, Oksana, 2011. "The heterogenous relationship of food stamp participation with body mass: Quantile regression model," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 499-506, August.
  4. Neeraj Kaushal & Qin Gao, 2011. "Food Stamp Program and Consumption Choices," NBER Chapters, in: Economic Aspects of Obesity, pages 223-247 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Nicholas, Lauren Hersch, 2011. "Can Food Stamps help to reduce Medicare spending on diabetes?," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 1-13, January.
  6. Robert Sandy & Gilbert Liu & John Ottensmann & Rusty Tchernis & Jeffrey Wilson & O.T. Ford, 2009. "Studying the Child Obesity Epidemic With Natural Experiments," NBER Working Papers 14989, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Amanda Geller & Carey Cooper & Irwin Garfinkel & Ofira Schwartz-Soicher & Ronald Mincy, 2012. "Beyond Absenteeism: Father Incarceration and Child Development," Demography, Springer, vol. 49(1), pages 49-76, February.
  8. Vassilopoulos, Achilleas & Drichoutis, Andreas & Nayga, Rodolfo & Lazaridis, Panagiotis, 2011. "Does the Food Stamp Program Really Increase Obesity? The Importance of Accounting for Misclassification Errors," MPRA Paper 28768, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Alston, Julian M. & Sumner, Daniel A. & Vosti, Stephen A., 2008. "Farm subsidies and obesity in the United States: National evidence and international comparisons," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 470-479, December.
  10. Boonsaeng, Tullaya & Carpio, Carlos E. & Zhen, Chen & Okrent, Abigail M., 2012. "The Effect of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program on Food Spending Among Low-Income Households," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124839, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  11. Burgstahler, Rebecca & Gundersen, Craig & Garasky, Steven B., 2012. "The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Financial Stress, and Childhood Obesity," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 41(1), April.
  12. Alston, Julian M. & Mullally, Conner C. & Sumner, Daniel A. & Townsend, Marilyn & Vosti, Stephen A., 2009. "Likely effects on obesity from proposed changes to the US food stamp program," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 176-184, April.
  13. Chad D. Meyerhoefer & Muzhe Yang, 2011. "The Relationship between Food Assistance and Health: A Review of the Literature and Empirical Strategies for Identifying Program Effects," Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 33(3), pages 304-344.
  14. Zhuo Chen & Qi Zhang, 2011. "Nutrigenomics Hypothesis: Examining the Association Between Food Stamp Program Participation and Bodyweight Among Low-Income Women," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 32(3), pages 508-520, September.
  15. Salois, Matthew & Balcombe, Kelvin, 2011. "Do Food Stamps Cause Obesity? A Generalised Bayesian Instrumental Variable Approach in the Presence of Heteroscedasticity," MPRA Paper 28745, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  16. Zagorsky, Jay L. & Smith, Patricia K., 2009. "Does the U.S. Food Stamp Program contribute to adult weight gain?," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 246-258, July.
  17. Amanda Geller & Carey E. Cooper & Irwin Garfinkel & Ofira Schwartz-Soicher & Ronald B. Mincy, 2009. "Beyond Absenteeism: Father Incarceration and its Effects on Children’s Development," Working Papers 1194, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing..
  18. Han, Euna & Powell, Lisa M. & Isgor, Zeynep, 2012. "Supplemental nutrition assistance program and body weight outcomes: The role of economic contextual factors," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(12), pages 1874-1881.
  19. Kreider, Brent & Pepper, John V. & Gundersen, Craig & Jolliffe, Dean, 2012. "Identifying the Effects of SNAP (Food Stamps) on Child Health Outcomes When Participation is Endogenous and Misreported," Staff General Research Papers 13124, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  20. Maximilian D. Schmeiser, 2012. "The impact of long‐term participation in the supplemental nutrition assistance program on child obesity," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(4), pages 386-404, 04.

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