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Returns to Scale and the Effectiveness of Money Spent on the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program


  • Baral, Ranju
  • Davis, George C.
  • You, Wen


In operation for more than 40 years and now in all 50 states and 6 territories, the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program has become a cornerstone in US nutrition education. The aim of the program is to assist limited resource audiences to acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and changed behavior necessary for nutritionally sound diets, and to contribute to their personal development and improvement of the overall family diet and nutritional well-being. However, very little is known about the effectiveness of this program, especially at the national level. The purpose of this research is to determine the effectiveness of money spent on the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program in satisfying its stated goals for adult participants. Data from all states and territories participating in the program for the years 2000-2006 are utilized in a non-linear seemingly unrelated regression framework to estimate returns to scale and related cost measures. Controlling for participant and program characteristics, the amount of money spent on the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program has a positive and significant impact on two of three federal outcome indices used to measure outcomes for adults. Larger-funded programs (states/territories) are relatively more cost efficient than smaller programs.

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  • Baral, Ranju & Davis, George C. & You, Wen, 2011. "Returns to Scale and the Effectiveness of Money Spent on the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program," 2011 Annual Meeting, July 24-26, 2011, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 103345, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea11:103345

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    Food Security and Poverty; Health Economics and Policy;

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