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The Impact of the National School Lunch Program on Child Health: A Nonparametric Bounds Analysis

  • Gundersen, Craig
  • Kreider, Brent
  • Pepper, John V.

Children in households reporting the receipt of free or reduced price school meals through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) are more likely to have negative health outcomes than eligible nonparticipants. Assessing the causal effects of the program is made difficult, however, by the presence of endogenous selection into the program and systematic misreporting of participation status. Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), we extend and apply partial identification methods to account for these two identification problems in a single unifying framework. Similar to a regression discontinuity design, we introduce a new way to conceptualize the monotone instrumental variable (MIV) assumption using eligibility criteria as monotone instruments. Under relatively weak assumptions, we find evidence that receipt of free and reduced price lunches through the NSLP improves the health outcomes of children.

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Paper provided by Iowa State University, Department of Economics in its series Staff General Research Papers Archive with number 13148.

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Date of creation: 15 Dec 2009
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Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:13148
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Iowa State University, Dept. of Economics, 260 Heady Hall, Ames, IA 50011-1070

Phone: +1 515.294.6741
Fax: +1 515.294.0221
Web page: http://www.econ.iastate.edu
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  1. Kreider, Brent & Hill, Steven C., 2005. "Partially Identifying Treatment Effects with an Application to Covering the Uninsured," Staff General Research Papers Archive 12296, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  2. Richard A. DePolt & Robert A. Moffitt & David C. Ribar, 2009. "Food Stamps, Temporary Assistance For Needy Families And Food Hardships In Three American Cities," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(4), pages 445-473, October.
  3. Molinari, Francesca, 2005. "Missing Treatments," Working Papers 05-11, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
  4. Anne Case & Darren Lubotsky & Christina Paxson, 2002. "Economic Status and Health in Childhood: The Origins of the Gradient," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1308-1334, December.
  5. Coleman-Jensen, Alisha & Nord, Mark & Andrews, Margaret S. & Carlson, Steven, 2011. "Household Food Security in the United States in 2010," Economic Research Report 118021, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  6. Millimet, Daniel L., 2010. "The Elephant in the Corner: A Cautionary Tale about Measurement Error in Treatment Effects Models," IZA Discussion Papers 5140, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. 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).
  8. Manski, C.F., 1996. "Monotone Treatment Response," Working papers 9604, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  9. Robert A. Moffitt, 2003. "Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number moff03-1, September.
  10. Craig Gundersen & Victor Oliveira, 2001. "The Food Stamp Program and Food Insufficiency," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 83(4), pages 875-887.
  11. Kreider, Brent & Pepper, John V., 2011. "Identification of Expected Outcomes in a Data Error Mixing Model With Multiplicative Mean Independence," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 29(1), pages 49-60.
  12. Horowitz, J.L. & Manski, C.F., 1995. "Censoring of Outcomes and Regressors Due to Survey Nonresponse: Identification and estimation Using Weights and Imputations," Working Papers 95-12, University of Iowa, Department of Economics.
  13. Kreider, Brent & Pepper, John V., 2003. "Disability and Employment: Reevaluating the Evidence in Light of Reporting Errors," Staff General Research Papers Archive 10229, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  14. 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.
  15. Beth Osborne Daponte & Seth Sanders & Lowell Taylor, 1999. "Why Do Low-Income Households not Use Food Stamps? Evidence from an Experiment," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(3), pages 612-628.
  16. Bruce D. Meyer & Wallace K. C. Mok & James X. Sullivan, 2009. "The Under-Reporting of Transfers in Household Surveys: Its Nature and Consequences," NBER Working Papers 15181, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. John V. Pepper, 2000. "The Intergenerational Transmission Of Welfare Receipt: A Nonparametric Bounds Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(3), pages 472-488, August.
  18. Donna K. Ginther, 2000. "Alternative Estimates of the Effect of Schooling on Earnings," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(1), pages 103-116, February.
  19. Charles F. Manski & John V. Pepper, 1998. "Monotone Instrumental Variables with an Application to the Returns to Schooling," NBER Technical Working Papers 0224, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Kreider, Brent, 2007. "Regression Coefficient Identification Decay in the Presence of Infrequent Classification Errors," Staff General Research Papers Archive 12822, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  21. Janet Currie, 2003. "U.S. Food and Nutrition Programs," NBER Chapters, in: Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, pages 199-290 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Guido Imbens & Charles F. Manski, 2003. "Confidence intervals for partially identified parameters," CeMMAP working papers CWP09/03, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  23. Bollinger, Christopher R., 1996. "Bounding mean regressions when a binary regressor is mismeasured," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 387-399, August.
  24. Charles F. Manski & John V. Pepper, 2009. "More on monotone instrumental variables," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 12(s1), pages S200-S216, 01.
  25. Craig Gundersen & Brent Kreider, 2008. "Food Stamps and Food Insecurity: What Can Be Learned in the Presence of Nonclassical Measurement Error?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(2), pages 352-382.
  26. Molinari, Francesca, 2008. "Partial identification of probability distributions with misclassified data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 144(1), pages 81-117, May.
  27. 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.
  28. Horowitz, Joel L & Manski, Charles F, 1995. "Identification and Robustness with Contaminated and Corrupted Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(2), pages 281-302, March.
  29. Gundersen, Craig & Kreider, Brent, 2008. "Bounding the Effects of Food Insecurity on Children's Health Outcomes," Staff General Research Papers Archive 13008, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  30. Nord, Mark & Andrews, Margaret S. & Carlson, Steven, 2002. "Household Food Security In The United States, 2001," Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Reports 33865, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  31. 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.
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