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Partial Identification of the Long-Run Causal Effect of Food Security on Child Health

  • Millimet, Daniel L.


    (Southern Methodist University)

  • Roy, Manan


    (IMPAQ International, LLC)

Food security and obesity represent two of the most significant public health issues. However, little is known about how these issues are intertwined. Here, we assess the causal relationship between food security during early childhood and relatively long-run measures of child health. Identifying this causal relationship is complicated due to endogenous selection and misclassification errors. To overcome these difficulties, we utilize a nonparametric bounds approach along with data from the ECLS-K and ECLS-B. The analysis reveals a positive association between food insecurity and future child obesity in the absence of misclassification. However, under relatively innocuous assumptions concerning the selection process, we often obtain bounds that indicate a negative causal effect of food insecurity on future child obesity. All results are extremely sensitive to misclassification.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7457.

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Length: 49 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2013
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Empirical Economics, 2015, 48, 83-141
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7457
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  1. Roy, Manan & Millimet, Daniel L. & Tchernis, Rusty, 2010. "Federal Nutrition Programs and Childhood Obesity: Inside the Black Box," IZA Discussion Papers 5316, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  4. 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).
  5. repec:mpr:mprres:5077 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Daniel L. Millimet & Rusty Tchernis, 2009. "Estimation of Treatment Effects Without an Exclusion Restriction: with an Application to the Analysis of the School Breakfast Program," NBER Working Papers 15539, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Charles F. Manski & John V. Pepper, 1998. "Monotone Instrumental Variables: With an Application to the Returns to Schooling," Virginia Economics Online Papers 308, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
  8. Howard, Larry L., 2011. "Does food insecurity at home affect non-cognitive performance at school? A longitudinal analysis of elementary student classroom behavior," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 157-176, February.
  9. van den Berg, Gerard J. & Pinger, Pia R. & Schoch, Johannes, 2012. "Instrumental variable estimation of the causal effect of hunger early in life on health later in life," Working Paper Series 2012:6, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  10. Kreider, Brent & Pepper, John V. & Gundersen, Craig & Jolliffe, Dean, 2012. "Identifying the Effects of SNAP (Food Stamps) on Child Health Outcomes When Participation is Endogenous and Misreported," Staff General Research Papers Archive 13124, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
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  17. Craig Gundersen & David Ribar, 2011. "Food Insecurity And Insufficiency At Low Levels Of Food Expenditures," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 57(4), pages 704-726, December.
  18. Brent Kreider & John Pepper, 2008. "Inferring disability status from corrupt data," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(3), pages 329-349.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. Coleman-Jensen, Alisha & Nord, Mark & Andrews, Margaret S. & Carlson, Steven, 2011. "Household Food Security in the United States in 2011," Economic Research Report 134715, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  22. Keisuke Hirano & Jack R. Porter, 2012. "Impossibility Results for Nondifferentiable Functionals," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(4), pages 1769-1790, 07.
  23. Cawley, John & Meyerhoefer, Chad, 2012. "The medical care costs of obesity: An instrumental variables approach," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 219-230.
  24. Nord, Mark & Andrews, Margaret S. & Carlson, Steven, 2009. "Household Food Security in the United States, 2008," Economic Research Report 55953, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  25. Charles F. Manski & John V. Pepper, 2011. "Deterrence and the Death Penalty: Partial Identification Analysis Using Repeated Cross Sections," NBER Working Papers 17455, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Bhattacharya, Jayanta & Currie, Janet & Haider, Steven, 2004. "Poverty, food insecurity, and nutritional outcomes in children and adults," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 839-862, July.
  27. Oluyemisi Kuku & Steven Garasky & Craig Gundersen, 2012. "The relationship between childhood obesity and food insecurity: a nonparametric analysis," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(21), pages 2667-2677, July.
  28. Hamelin, Anne-Marie & Beaudry, Micheline & Habicht, Jean-Pierre, 2002. "Characterization of household food insecurity in Québec: food and feelings," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 119-132, January.
  29. Elie Tamer, 2010. "Partial Identification in Econometrics," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 2(1), pages 167-195, 09.
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