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Take-up of Free School Meals: price effects and peer effects

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  • Holford, Angus

Abstract

Almost 300,000 entitled children do not participate in the UK’s Free School Meals (FSM) programme, worth up to £400 per year. Welfare take-up can be deterred by stigma and lack of information. This paper uses a school-level dataset and fixed-effect instrumental variables strategy to show that peer-group participation has a substantial role in overcoming these barriers. Identification of endogenous peer effects is achieved by exploiting a scheme which extended FSM entitlement to all children in some school cohorts. Results show that in a typical school a 10 percentage point rise in peer-group take-up would reduce non-participation by almost a quarter.

Suggested Citation

  • Holford, Angus, 2012. "Take-up of Free School Meals: price effects and peer effects," ISER Working Paper Series 2012-12, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:ese:iserwp:2012-12
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    File URL: https://www.iser.essex.ac.uk/research/publications/working-papers/iser/2012-12.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. John S. Akin & David K. Guilkey & Barry M. Popkin & James H. Wyckoff, 1983. "The Demand for School Lunches: An Analysis of Individual Participation in the School Lunch Program," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 18(2), pages 213-230.
    2. Ethan Cohen-Cole & Giulio Zanella, 2008. "Welfare Stigma or Information Sharing? Decomposing Social Interactions Effects in Social Benefit Use," Department of Economics University of Siena 531, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
    3. Aizer, Anna & Currie, Janet, 2004. "Networks or neighborhoods? Correlations in the use of publicly-funded maternity care in California," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(12), pages 2573-2585, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Julie Janssens & Natascha Van Mechelen, 2017. "Who is to Blame? An Overview of the Factors Contributing to the Non-Take-Up of Social Rights," Working Papers 1708, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.

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