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Are National School Lunch Program Participants More Likely to be Obese? Dealing with Identification

Author

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  • Peckham, Janet G.
  • Kropp, Jaclyn D.

Abstract

The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) has been criticized for providing high calorie lunches to over 31 million school-age students. With nearly 17 percent of children considered obese, the relationship between NSLP participation and childhood obesity has been studied extensively without conclusive evidence. This paper presents a review of the literature thus far and examines identification issues when estimating the average treatment effect or local average treatment effect of the NSLP. Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), the author finds that when restrictive parametric assumptions are removed, participation in the NSLP reduces the probability of being obese in school age children.

Suggested Citation

  • Peckham, Janet G. & Kropp, Jaclyn D., 2012. "Are National School Lunch Program Participants More Likely to be Obese? Dealing with Identification," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124905, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea12:124905
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Manski, Charles F, 1990. "Nonparametric Bounds on Treatment Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 319-323, May.
    2. Daniel L. Millimet & Rusty Tchernis & Muna Husain, 2010. "School Nutrition Programs and the Incidence of Childhood Obesity," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(3).
    3. Rachel Dunifon & Lori Kowaleski-Jones, 2001. "Associations Between Participation in the National School Lunch Program, Food Insecurity, and Child Well-Being," JCPR Working Papers 249, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
    4. Gundersen, Craig & Kreider, Brent & Pepper, John, 2012. "The impact of the National School Lunch Program on child health: A nonparametric bounds analysis," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 166(1), pages 79-91.
    5. Philip M. Gleason & Carol W. Suitor, 2003. "Eating at School: How the National School Lunch Program Affects Children's Diets," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(4), pages 1047-1061.
    6. David S. Lee & Thomas Lemieux, 2010. "Regression Discontinuity Designs in Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(2), pages 281-355, June.
    7. Imbens, Guido W. & Lemieux, Thomas, 2008. "Regression discontinuity designs: A guide to practice," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 615-635, February.
    8. Ralston, Katherine L. & Newman, Constance & Clauson, Annette L. & Guthrie, Joanne F. & Buzby, Jean C., 2008. "The National School Lunch Program: Background, Trends, and Issues," Economic Research Report 56464, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    9. Benjamin L. Campbell & Rodolfo M. Nayga & John L. Park & Andres Silva, 2011. "Does the National School Lunch Program Improve Children's Dietary Outcomes?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1099-1130.
    10. Brent Kreider & John V. Pepper & Craig Gundersen & Dean Jolliffe, 2012. "Identifying the Effects of SNAP (Food Stamps) on Child Health Outcomes When Participation Is Endogenous and Misreported," Journal of the American Statistical Association, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 107(499), pages 958-975, September.
    11. Joseph G. Altonji & Todd E. Elder & Christopher R. Taber, 2005. "An Evaluation of Instrumental Variable Strategies for Estimating the Effects of Catholic Schooling," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(4), pages 791-821.
    12. Charles F. Manski & John V. Pepper, 2000. "Monotone Instrumental Variables, with an Application to the Returns to Schooling," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(4), pages 997-1012, July.
    13. Chiburis, Richard C., 2010. "Semiparametric bounds on treatment effects," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 159(2), pages 267-275, December.
    14. Sharon K. Long, 1991. "Do the School Nutrition Programs Supplement Household Food Expenditures?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(4), pages 654-678.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    National School Lunch Program; Obesity; Regression Discontinuity; Monotone Instrumental Variable; Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety; C14; I38; Q18;

    JEL classification:

    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy

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