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School meal crowd out in the 1980s

  • von Hinke Kessler Scholder, SM

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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Paper provided by Imperial College, London, Imperial College Business School in its series Working Papers with number 6942.

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Handle: RePEc:imp:wpaper:6942
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  1. Colin Cameron, 2011. "Robust inference with clustered data," Mexican Stata Users' Group Meetings 2011 07, Stata Users Group.
  2. Daniel Millimet & Rusty Tchernis & Muna Hussain, 2007. "School Nutrition Programs and the Incidence of Childhood Obesity," Caepr Working Papers 2007-014, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Economics Department, Indiana University Bloomington.
  3. Shapiro, Jesse & Glaeser, Edward & Cutler, David, 2003. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese," Scholarly Articles 2640583, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. 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.
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  7. 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.
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  9. repec:ese:iserwp:2009-01 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Susan Athey & Guido W. Imbens, 2006. "Identification and Inference in Nonlinear Difference-in-Differences Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(2), pages 431-497, 03.
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  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Jayanta Bhattacharya & Janet Currie & Steven Haider, 2004. "Breakfast of Champions? The School Breakfast Program and the Nutrition of Children and Families," NBER Working Papers 10608, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Patrick Royston, 2004. "Multiple imputation of missing values," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 4(3), pages 227-241, September.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Pepper, John V., 2002. "Robust inferences from random clustered samples: an application using data from the panel study of income dynamics," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 75(3), pages 341-345, May.
  20. 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.
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