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Are Fruit and Vegetable Stamp Policies Cost Effective?

  • Dallongeville, Jean
  • Dauchet, Luc
  • de Mouzon, Olivier
  • Réquillart, Vincent
  • Soler, Louis-Georges

In many countries, consumption of fruits and vegetables (F&V) is below recommended levels. We quantify the economic and health effects of F&V stamp policy designed for low income consumers. The analysis combined two models: an economic model which predicts how F&V consumption is affected by a change in policy and a health model which evaluates the impact of a change in F&V consumption in terms of death avoided (DA) and life-years saved (LYS). Finally we computed the costs per DA and LYS as the ratio between the taxpayer cost of the policy and the number of DA and LYS. The main findings of the present study are: (1) F&V stamp policy has a positive and significant impact on the consumption of small F&V consumers of the targeted population, (2) at the aggregate level, this policy has a modest impact on consumption and as a result on health gains, (3) for a given budget allocated to the policy, the cost per DA or LYS decreases when the targeting is smaller, at least as long as consumption remains in plausible values, (4) the policy reduces the health inequalities between low and high income populations, (5) when well designed, F&V stamp policy is as cost-effective as price policy (about 42 k€/LYS).

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Paper provided by Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse in its series IDEI Working Papers with number 648.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ide:wpaper:23573
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  1. Blisard, Noel & Stewart, Hayden & Jolliffe, Dean, 2004. "Low-Income Households' Expenditures On Fruits And Vegetables," Agricultural Economics Reports 34041, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  2. Olivier Allais & Patrice Bertail & Véronique Nichèle, 2010. "The Effects of a Fat Tax on French Households' Purchases: A Nutritional Approach," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 92(1), pages 228-245.
  3. Ver Ploeg, Michele & Mancino, Lisa & Lin, Biing-Hwan, 2007. "Food and Nutrition Assistance Programs and Obesity: 1976-2002," Economic Research Report 55965, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  4. 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.
  5. Pan, Suwen & Jensen, Helen H., 2008. "Does the Food Stamp Program Affect Food Security Status and the Composition of Food Expenditures?," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 40(01), April.
  6. Zhuo Chen & Steven T. Yen & David B. Eastwood, 2005. "Effects of Food Stamp Participation on Body Weight and Obesity," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(5), pages 1167-1173.
  7. Lusk, Jayson L. & Anderson, John D., 2004. "Effects of Country-of-Origin Labeling on Meat Producers and Consumers," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 29(02), August.
  8. Anonymous & Hamilton, William L. & Lin, Biing-Hwan, 2004. "Effects Of Food Assistance And Nutrition Programs On Nutrition And Health: Volume 3, Literature Review," Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Reports 33863, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  9. Guthrie, Joanne F. & Andrews, Margaret S. & Frazao, Elizabeth & Leibtag, Ephraim S. & Lin, Biing-Hwan & Mancino, Lisa & Nord, Mark & Prell, Mark A. & Smallwood, David M. & Variyam, Jayachandran N. & V, 2007. "Can Food Stamps Do More to Improve Food Choices? An Economic Perspective," Economic Information Bulletin 59417, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  10. Alston, Julian M. & Mullally, Conner C. & Sumner, Daniel A. & Townsend, Marilyn & Vosti, Stephen A., 2009. "Likely effects on obesity from proposed changes to the US food stamp program," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 176-184, April.
  11. LeBlanc, Michael & Lin, Biing-Hwan & Smallwood, David M., 2007. "Food Assistance: How Strong Is the Safety Net?," Amber Waves, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, May.
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