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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 observationally similar nonparticipants. Assessing causal effects of the program is made difficult, however, by missing counterfactuals and systematic underreporting of program participation. Combining survey data with auxiliary administrative information on the size of the NSLP caseload, we extend nonparametric partial identification methods that account for endogenous selection and nonrandom classification error in a single 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 improves the health outcomes of children.

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File URL: http://www2.econ.iastate.edu/papers/p12719-2011-04-02.pdf
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Paper provided by Iowa State University, Department of Economics in its series Staff General Research Papers Archive with number 32719.

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Date of creation: 02 Apr 2011
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Publication status: Published in Journal of Econometrics 2012, vol. 166 no. 1, pp. 79-91
Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:32719
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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. Molinari, Francesca, 2008. "Partial identification of probability distributions with misclassified data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 144(1), pages 81-117, May.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
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  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Charles F. Manski & John V. Pepper, 2009. "More on monotone instrumental variables," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 12(s1), pages S200-S216, 01.
  13. Daniel L. Millimet & Rusty Tchernis & Muna Husain, 2008. "School Nutrition Programs and the Incidence of Childhood Obesity," NBER Working Papers 14297, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Bruce D. Meyer & Wallace K. C. Mok & James X. Sullivan, 2009. "The Under-Reporting of Transfers in Household Surveys: Its Nature and Consequences," Working Papers 0903, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
  15. Kreider, Brent & Pepper, John V., 2007. "Disability and Employment: Reevaluating the Evidence in Light of Reporting Errors," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 102, pages 432-441, June.
  16. Molinari, Francesca, 2010. "Missing Treatments," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 28(1), pages 82-95.
  17. 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.
  18. Brent Kreider, 2010. "Regression Coefficient Identification Decay in The Presence of Infrequent Classification Errors," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(4), pages 1017-1023, November.
  19. 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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  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
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  29. Robert A. Moffitt, 2003. "Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number moff03-1, September.
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  31. 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.
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