Does food insecurity at home affect non-cognitive performance at school? A longitudinal analysis of elementary student classroom behavior
This paper estimates models of the transitional effects of food insecurity experiences on children's non-cognitive performance in school classrooms using a panel of 4710 elementary students enrolled in 1st, 3rd, and 5th grade (1999-2003). In addition to an extensive set of child and household-level characteristics, we use information on U.S. counties to control for potential confounding effects of the local economic and noneconomic environment on children's household transitions between states of food insecurity and food security. The time horizon of our analysis affords insight into factors underlying children's formation of non-cognitive skills and the efficiency of classroom-based educational production in elementary school. Overall, we find significant negative developmental effects for children with food insecurity at home; and that children experiencing an early transition from food insecurity in 1st grade to food security in 3rd grade have even larger impairments that persist through 5th grade.
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