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The Relationship between Food Assistance and Health: A Review of the Literature and Empirical Strategies for Identifying Program Effects

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  • Chad D. Meyerhoefer
  • Muzhe Yang

Abstract

There is a large and growing body of literature on the impact of food assistance programs on body weight and health. We review this literature in the context of an economic model of consumption and time allocations in order to elucidate the multiple pathways between food assistance and health. We then present a general empirical framework for comparing and contrasting different identification strategies, some of which have been used to evaluate food assistance programs, from the treatment effects literature. In addition to discussing the most widely used methods, we highlight recent advances that may be of interest to food assistance researchers. Copyright 2011, Oxford University Press.

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  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:apecpp:v:33:y:2011:i:3:p:304-344
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    Cited by:

    1. Dharmasena, Senarath & Bessler, David A. & Capps, Oral, 2016. "Food environment in the United States as a complex economic system," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 163-175.
    2. Smith, Michael D. & Rabbitt, Matthew P. & Coleman- Jensen, Alisha, 2017. "Who are the World’s Food Insecure? New Evidence from the Food and Agriculture Organization’s Food Insecurity Experience Scale," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 402-412.
    3. Gregory, Christian A. & Deb, Partha, 2015. "Does SNAP improve your health?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 11-19.
    4. Cawley, John, 2015. "An economy of scales: A selective review of obesity's economic causes, consequences, and solutions," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 244-268.
    5. Lentz, Erin C. & Barrett, Christopher B., 2013. "The economics and nutritional impacts of food assistance policies and programs," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 151-163.
    6. repec:eee:jfpoli:v:71:y:2017:i:c:p:48-61 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Chavas, Jean-Paul, 2013. "On the microeconomics of food and malnutrition under endogenous discounting," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 80-96.
    8. repec:eee:socmed:v:197:y:2018:i:c:p:1-8 is not listed on IDEAS

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