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The Effects of Food Stamps on Obesity

  • Charles L. Baum

    ()

    (Economics and Finance Department, P.O. Box 27, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN 37132, USA)

Poverty has historically been associated with a decrease in food consumption. This at least partially changed in 1964 when the Food Stamp Act began guaranteeing food for those in poverty. Since the act’s passage, the prevalence of obesity has increased dramatically, particularly among those with low incomes. This article examines the effects of the Food Stamp Program on the prevalence of obesity using 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth data. Results indicate that food stamps have significant positive effects on obesity and the obesity gap for females, but these effects are relatively small, and consequently, such benefits are approximated to have played a minor role in increasing obesity at the aggregate level.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.4284/sej.2011.77.3.623
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Article provided by Southern Economic Association in its journal Southern Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 77 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (January)
Pages: 623-651

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Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:77:3:y:2011:p:623-651
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.southerneconomic.org/

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  1. John Cawley, 2004. "The Impact of Obesity on Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
  2. Bollinger, Christopher R & David, Martin H, 2001. "Estimation with Response Error and Nonresponse: Food-Stamp Participation in the SIPP," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 19(2), pages 129-41, April.
  3. Patricia M. Anderson & Kristin F. Butcher & Phillip B. Levine, 2002. "Maternal Employment and Overweight Children," NBER Working Papers 8770, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  8. David Cutler & Edward Glaeser & Jesse Shapiro, 2003. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese?," NBER Working Papers 9446, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Craig Gundersen & Brent Kreider, 2008. "Food Stamps and Food Insecurity: What Can Be Learned in the Presence of Nonclassical Measurement Error?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(2), pages 352-382.
  10. 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, vol. 90(2), pages 287-305.
  11. Meyer, Bruce D, 1990. "Unemployment Insurance and Unemployment Spells," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(4), pages 757-82, July.
  12. Parke Wilde & Mark Nord, 2005. "The Effect of Food Stamps on Food Security: A Panel Data Approach ," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 27(3), pages 425-432.
  13. Tomas Philipson, 2001. "The world-wide growth in obesity: an economic research agenda," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(1), pages 1-7.
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  15. Parke E. Wilde & Paul E. McNamara & Christine K. Ranney, 1999. "The Effect of Income and Food Programs on Dietary Quality: A Seemingly Unrelated Regression Analysis with Error Components," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 81(4), pages 959-971.
  16. Barbara Devaney & Robert Moffitt, 1991. "Dietary Effects of the Food Stamp Program," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 73(1), pages 202-211.
  17. Darius Lakdawalla & Tomas Philipson, 2002. "The Growth of Obesity and Technological Change: A Theoretical and Empirical Examination," Working Papers 0203, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
  18. 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.
  19. Dean Jolliffe, 2004. "Continuous and robust measures of the overweight epidemic: 1971–2000," Demography, Springer, vol. 41(2), pages 303-314, May.
  20. repec:fth:prinin:468 is not listed on IDEAS
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