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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 the receipt of free and reduced-price lunches 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 with number 32720.

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Date of creation: 03 Apr 2011
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Publication status: Forthcoming in Journal of Econometrics
Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:32720
Contact details of provider: Postal: 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 & 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Kreider, Brent, 2007. "Regression Coefficient Identification Decay in the Presence of Infrequent Classification Errors," Staff General Research Papers 12822, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Molinari, Francesca, 2005. "Missing Treatments," Working Papers 05-11, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
  7. Molinari, Francesca, 2008. "Partial identification of probability distributions with misclassified data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 144(1), pages 81-117, May.
  8. Anne Case & Darren Lubotsky & Christina Paxson, 2001. "Economic Status and Health in Childhood: The Origins of the Gradient," NBER Working Papers 8344, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Guido W. Imbens & Charles F. Manski, 2004. "Confidence Intervals for Partially Identified Parameters," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(6), pages 1845-1857, November.
  10. repec:att:wimass:9525 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. 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 Publications Department.
  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. Gundersen, Craig & Kreider, Brent, 2006. "Food Stamps and Food Insecurity: What Can Be Learned in the Presence of Non-Classical Measurement Error?," Staff General Research Papers 12690, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  14. 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.
  15. Kreider, Brent & Pepper, John V., 2011. "Identification of Expected Outcomes in a Data Error Mixing Model with Multiplicative Mean Independence," Staff General Research Papers 12496, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  16. Gundersen, Craig & Kreider, Brent, 2008. "Bounding the Effects of Food Insecurity on Children's Health Outcomes," Staff General Research Papers 13008, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  17. Kreider, Brent & Hill, Steven C., 2005. "Partially Identifying Treatment Effects with an Application to Covering the Uninsured," Staff General Research Papers 12296, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  18. Horowitz, Joel L. & Manski, Charles F., 1998. "Censoring of outcomes and regressors due to survey nonresponse: Identification and estimation using weights and imputations," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 37-58, May.
  19. 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.
  20. Charles F. Manski, 1997. "Monotone Treatment Response," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(6), pages 1311-1334, November.
  21. 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).
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. Bollinger, Christopher R., 1996. "Bounding mean regressions when a binary regressor is mismeasured," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 387-399, August.
  30. 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.
  31. 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.
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