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Food Insecurity and Public Assistance

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  • George J. Borjas

Abstract

This paper examines if welfare programs reduce the probability that vulnerable household experience food deprivation because of financial constraints. Although the 1996 welfare reform legislation specifically limited the eligibility of immigrant households to receive assistance, many states chose to protect their immigrant populations by offering state-funded aid to these groups. I exploit these changes in eligibility rules to examine the link between food insecurity and public assistance. The evidence indicates that a 10 percentage point cut in the fraction of the population that receives public assistance increases the fraction of food-insecure households by about 5 percentage points.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9236.

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Date of creation: Sep 2002
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Publication status: published as Borjas, George J. "Food Insecurity And Public Assistance," Journal of Public Economics, 2004, v88(7-8,Jul), 1421-1443.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9236

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  1. Martin Browning & Thomas Crossley, 1999. "Unemployment Insurance Benefit Levels and Consumption Changes," CEPR Discussion Papers 405, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  2. Rebecca M. Blank, 1999. "What Goes Up Must Come Down? Explaining Recent Changes in Public Assistance Caseloads," JCPR Working Papers 78, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  3. Attanasio, Orazio P & Weber, Guglielmo, 1995. "Is Consumption Growth Consistent with Intertemporal Optimization? Evidence from the Consumer Expenditure Survey," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1121-57, December.
  4. Joseph Altonji & David Card, 1989. "The Effects of Immigration on the Labor Market Outcome of Less-Skilled Natives," Working Papers 636, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  5. Janet Currie & Duncan Thomas, 1993. "Does Head Start Make a Difference?," NBER Working Papers 4406, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Krueger, 1995. "Split Sample Instrumental Variables," NBER Technical Working Papers 0150, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Hamermesh, Daniel S, 1982. "Social Insurance and Consumption: An Empirical Inquiry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(1), pages 101-13, March.
  8. George J. Borjas & Lynette Hilton, 1995. "Immigration and the Welfare State: Immigrant Participation in Means- Tested Entitlement Programs," NBER Working Papers 5372, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Jayanta Bhattacharya & Steven Haider & Janet Currie, 2002. "Food Insecurity or Poverty? Measuring Need-Related Dietary Adequacy," NBER Working Papers 9003, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. John M. Abowd & Richard B. Freeman, 1991. "Immigration, Trade and the Labor Market," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number abow91-1, June.
  11. Janet Currie & Aaron Yelowitz, 1997. "Are Public Housing Projects Good for Kids?," NBER Working Papers 6305, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Robert J. LaLonde & Robert H. Topel, 1991. "Labor Market Adjustments to Increased Immigration," NBER Chapters, in: Immigration, Trade and the Labor Market, pages 167-199 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Moffitt, Robert, 1992. "Incentive Effects of the U.S. Welfare System: A Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(1), pages 1-61, March.
  14. Angrist, Joshua D & Krueger, Alan B, 1995. "Split-Sample Instrumental Variables Estimates of the Return to Schooling," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(2), pages 225-35, April.
  15. J. P. Ziliak & C. Gundersen & D. N. Figlio, . "Welfare Reform and Food Stamp Caseload Dynamics," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1215-00, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  16. Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Krueger, 1990. "The Effect of Age at School Entry on Educational Attainment: An Application of Instrumental Variables with Moments from Two Samples," NBER Working Papers 3571, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Gruber, Jonathan, 2000. "Cash welfare as a consumption smoothing mechanism for divorced mothers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 157-182, February.
  18. J.D. Angrist & Guido W. Imbens & D.B. Rubin, 1993. "Identification of Causal Effects Using Instrumental Variables," NBER Technical Working Papers 0136, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. David N. Figlio & Craig Gundersen & James P. Ziliak, 2000. "The Effects of the Macroeconomy and Welfare Reform on Food Stamp Caseloads," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 82(3), pages 635-641.
  20. Nord, Mark, 2005. "Measuring U.S. Household Food Security," Amber Waves, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, April.
  21. Robert F. Schoeni & Rebecca M. Blank, 2000. "What has Welfare Reform Accomplished? Impacts on Welfare Participation, Employment, Income, Poverty, and Family Structure," NBER Working Papers 7627, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Nord, Mark & Andrews, Margaret S. & Carlson, Steven, 2002. "Household Food Security In The United States, 2001," Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Reports 33865, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  23. Joseph G. Altonji & David Card, 1989. "The Effects of Immigration on the Labor Market Outcomes of Natives," NBER Working Papers 3123, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Francine D. Blau, 1984. "The use of transfer payments by immigrants," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 37(2), pages 222-239, January.
  25. George J. Borjas & Stephen J. Trejo, 1990. "Immigrant Participation in the Welfare System," NBER Working Papers 3423, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Jonathan Gruber, 1994. "The Consumption Smoothing Benefits of Unemployment Insurance," NBER Working Papers 4750, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. 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.
  28. Gruber, Jonathan, 1997. "The Consumption Smoothing Benefits of Unemployment Insurance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 192-205, March.
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