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School meal crowd out in the 1980s

  • Stephanie von Hinke Kessler Scholder

    ()

This paper explores whether state provision of school meals in the 1980s crowded out private provision by examining two UK policy reforms that dramatically reduced school meal take-up. The paper examines whether this affected children’s BMI, using a large, unique, longitudinal dataset of primary school children from 1972 – 1994. This period is characterized by –for some– relative scarcity of foods. The reforms placed further constraints on some families’ already tight food budgets, leading to nutritionists expecting children to become malnourished. The findings however, show no evidence of any such effects. In addition, I find no support for the hypothesis of intra-household food reallocation. As some of those affected are relatively poor, and as sample sizes are often large with fairly precise estimates, the analysis should have been able to detect any effects. With no such evidence, this suggests that the state provision of school meals was crowding out private provision of similarly nutritious packed and home lunches.

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File URL: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/cmpo/publications/papers/2011/wp261.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK in its series The Centre for Market and Public Organisation with number 11/261.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bri:cmpowp:11/261
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  1. Susan Athey & Guido Imbens, 2003. "Identification and Inference in Nonlinear Difference-in-Differences Models," Levine's Working Paper Archive 506439000000000079, David K. Levine.
  2. Gruber, Jonathan & Hungerman, Daniel M., 2007. "Faith-based charity and crowd-out during the great depression," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(5-6), pages 1043-1069, June.
  3. repec:ese:iserwp:2009-01 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Jay Bhattacharya & Janet Currie & Steven Haider, 2004. "Breakfast of Champions? The School Breakfast Program and the Nutrition of Children and Families," Working Papers 189, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  5. 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).
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  9. Hanan G. Jacoby, 2002. "Is There an Intrahousehold "Flypaper Effect"? Evidence From a School Feeding Programme," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(476), pages 196-221, January.
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  12. Gruber, Jonathan & Simon, Kosali, 2008. "Crowd-out 10 years later: Have recent public insurance expansions crowded out private health insurance?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 201-217, March.
  13. Cutler, David M & Gruber, Jonathan, 1996. "Does Public Insurance Crowd Out Private Insurance?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(2), pages 391-430, May.
  14. Hilary W. Hoynes & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, 2009. "Consumption Responses to In-Kind Transfers: Evidence from the Introduction of the Food Stamp Program," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(4), pages 109-39, October.
  15. Belot, Michele & James, Jonathan, 2009. "Healthy School Meals And Educational Outcomes," Working Papers 56207, American Association of Wine Economists.
  16. Sandra L. Hofferth & Sally Curtin, 2005. "Poverty, food programs, and childhood obesity," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(4), pages 703-726.
  17. Jonathan Gruber & Kosali Simon, 2007. "Crowd-Out Ten Years Later: Have Recent Public Insurance Expansions Crowded Out Private Health Insurance?," NBER Working Papers 12858, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Wilde, Parke E. & Ranney, Christine K., 1997. "A Monthly Cycle In Food Expenditure And Intake By Participants In The U.S. Food Stamp Program," Working Papers 127820, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
  19. Cullen, Julie Berry & Gruber, Jonathan, 2000. "Does Unemployment Insurance Crowd Out Spousal Labor Supply?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 546-72, July.
  20. Richard Dorsett & Christopher Heady, 1991. "The take-up of means-tested benefits by working families with children," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 12(4), pages 22-32, November.
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