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Do Food Stamps Cause Obesity? A Generalised Bayesian Instrumental Variable Approach in the Presence of Heteroscedasticity

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  • Salois, Matthew
  • Balcombe, Kelvin

Abstract

The impact of covariates on obesity in the US is investigated, with particular attention given to the role of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The potential endogeneity of participation in SNAP is considered as a potential problem in investigating its causal influence on obesity using instrumental variable (IV) approaches. Due to the presence of heteroscedasticity in the errors, the approach for dealing with heteroscedastic errors in Geweke (1993) is extended to the Bayesian instrumental variable estimator outlined in Rossi et al. (2005). This approach leads to substantively different findings to a standard classical IV approach to correcting for heteroscedasticity. Although findings support the contention that the SNAP participation rate is associated with a greater prevalence of obesity, the evidence for this impact is substantially weakened when using the methods introduced in the paper.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 28745.

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Date of creation: 08 Feb 2011
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:28745

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Keywords: Bayesian; Food Stamps; Food Insecurity; Instrumental Variabls; Heteroscedasticity; Obesity.;

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  1. Neeraj Kaushal, 2006. "Do food stamps cause obesity? Evidence from immigrant experience," Working Papers, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago 0607, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
  2. Shapiro, Jesse M., 2005. "Is there a daily discount rate? Evidence from the food stamp nutrition cycle," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 89(2-3), pages 303-325, February.
  3. Charles L. Baum, 2011. "The Effects of Food Stamps on Obesity," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 623-651, January.
  4. J. P. Ziliak & C. Gundersen & D. N. Figlio, . "Welfare Reform and Food Stamp Caseload Dynamics," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty 1215-00, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  5. Elton Mykerezi & Bradford Mills, 2010. "The Impact of Food Stamp Program Participation on Household Food Insecurity," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1379-1391.
  6. Steven T. Yen & Margaret Andrews & Zhuo Chen & David B. Eastwood, 2008. "Food Stamp Program Participation and Food Insecurity: An Instrumental Variables Approach," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 90(1), pages 117-132.
  7. 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, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 82(3), pages 635-641.
  8. Susan Chen & Raymond J. G. M. Florax & Samantha Snyder & Christopher C. Miller, 2010. "Obesity and Access to Chain Grocers," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 86(4), pages 431-452, October.
  9. Chad D. Meyerhoefer & Yuriy Pylypchuk, 2008. "Does Participation in the Food Stamp Program Increase the Prevalence of Obesity and Health Care Spending?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 90(2), pages 287-305.
  10. Zhuo Chen & Steven T. Yen & David B. Eastwood, 2005. "Effects of Food Stamp Participation on Body Weight and Obesity," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(5), pages 1167-1173.
  11. Fraker, Thomas & Devaney, Barbara & Cavin, Edward, 1986. "An Evaluation of the Effect of Cashing Out Food Stamps on Food Expenditures," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 230-34, May.
  12. Craig Gundersen & Victor Oliveira, 2001. "The Food Stamp Program and Food Insufficiency," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 83(4), pages 875-887.
  13. James P. Ziliak & Craig Gundersen & David N. Figlio, 2003. "Food Stamp Caseloads over the Business Cycle," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 69(4), pages 903-919, April.
  14. Parke E. Wilde & Christine K. Ranney, 2000. "The Monthly Food Stamp Cycle: Shooping Frequency and Food Intake Decisions in an Endogenous Switching Regression Framework," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 82(1), pages 200-213.
  15. Geweke, J, 1993. "Bayesian Treatment of the Independent Student- t Linear Model," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(S), pages S19-40, Suppl. De.
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