Heat or Eat? Cold Weather Shocks and Nutrition in Poor American Families
AbstractWe examine the effects of cold weather periods on family budgets and on nutritional outcomes in poor American families. Expenditures on food and home fuels are tracked by linking the Consumer Expenditure Survey to temperature data. Using the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, we track calorie consumption, dietary quality, vitamin deficiencies, and anemia in summer and winter months. We find that both rich and poor families increase fuel expenditures in response to unusually cold weather (a 10 degree F drop below normal). At same time, poor families reduce food expenditures by roughly the same amount as the increase in fuel expenditures, while rich families increase food expenditures. Poor adults and children reduce caloric intake by roughly 200 calories during winter months, unlike richer adults and children. In sensitivity analyses, we find that decreases in food expenditure are most pronounced outside the South. We conclude that poor parents and their children outside the South spend and eat less food during cold weather temperature shocks. We surmise that existing social programs fail to buffer against these shocks.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9004.
Date of creation: Jun 2002
Date of revision:
Note: CH HC
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
- I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Production
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Wilde, Parke E. & Ranney, Christine K., 1997.
"A Monthly Cycle In Food Expenditure And Intake By Participants In The U.S. Food Stamp Program,"
127820, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
- P. Wilde & C. Ranney, . "A Monthly Cycle in Food Expenditure and Intake by Participants in the U.S. Food Stamp Program," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1163-98, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
- Jay Bhattacharya & Janet Currie, 2001.
"Youths at Nutrition Risk: Malnourished or Misnourished?,"
in: Risky Behavior among Youths: An Economic Analysis, pages 483-522
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Jay Bhattacharya & Janet Currie, 2000. "Youths at Nutritional Risk: Malnourished or Misnourished?," NBER Working Papers 7686, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- anonymous, 1999. "Banking relationships of lower-income families and the governmental trend toward electronic payment," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Jul, pages 459-473.
- Alisha Coleman-Jensen, 2011. "Working for Peanuts: Nonstandard Work and Food Insecurity Across Household Structure," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 84-97, March.
- Beatty, Timothy K.M. & Blow, Laura & Crossley, Thomas, 2009. "Heat or Eat?: An empirical analysis of U.K. cold weather income support," 2009 Annual Meeting, July 26-28, 2009, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 51903, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
- Yoshie Sano & Steven Garasky & Kimberly Greder & Christine Cook & Dawn Browder, 2011. "Understanding Food Insecurity Among Latino Immigrant Families in Rural America," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 111-123, March.
- Timothy K.M. Beatty & Laura Blow & Thomas F. Crossley, 2011.
"Is There a Heat or Eat Trade-off in the UK?,"
KoÃ§ University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum Working Papers
1133, Koc University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum.
- Jensen, Robert T. & Miller, Nolan, 2008. "The Impact of the World Food Price Crisis on Nutrition in China," Working Paper Series rwp08-039, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
- Liddell, Christine & Morris, Chris, 2010. "Fuel poverty and human health: A review of recent evidence," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 2987-2997, June.
- O'Sullivan, Kimberley C. & Howden-Chapman, Philippa L. & Fougere, Geoff, 2011. "Making the connection: The relationship between fuel poverty, electricity disconnection, and prepayment metering," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 733-741, February.
- Kerwin Kofi Charles & Melvin Stephens, Jr., 2006. "The Level and Composition of Consumption Over the Business Cycle: The Role of "Quasi-Fixed" Expenditures," NBER Working Papers 12388, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ranney, Christine K. & Gomez, Miguel I., 2010. "Food Stamps, Food Insufficiency and Health of the Elderly," Working Papers 126968, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
- Beatty, Timothy K.M. & Tuttle, Charlotte, 2012. "The Effect of Energy Price Shocks on Household Food Security," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124791, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
- Howden-Chapman, Philippa & Viggers, Helen & Chapman, Ralph & O'Dea, Des & Free, Sarah & O'Sullivan, Kimberley, 2009. "Warm homes: Drivers of the demand for heating in the residential sector in New Zealand," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 3387-3399, September.
- Victoria Vernon, 2004. "Food Expenditure, Food Preparation Time and Household Economies of Scale," Labor and Demography 0412005, EconWPA.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.