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U.S. Food and Nutrition Programs

Listed author(s):
  • Hilary W. Hoynes
  • Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach

This chapter provides an overview of the patchwork of U.S. food and nutrition programs, with detailed discussions of SNAP (formerly the Food Stamp Program), WIC, and the school breakfast and lunch programs. Building on Currie’s (2003) review, we document the history and goals of the programs, and describe the current program rules. We also provide program statistics and how participation and costs have changed over time. The programs vary along how “in-kind” the benefits are, and we describe economic frameworks through which each can be analyzed. We then review the recent research on each program, focusing on studies that employ techniques that can isolate causal impacts. We conclude by highlighting gaps in current knowledge and promising areas for future research.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 21057.

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Date of creation: Mar 2015
Publication status: published as U.S. Food and Nutrition Programs , Hilary Hoynes, Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach. in Economics of Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, volume 1 , Moffitt. 2016
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:21057
Note: CH LS PE
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  1. 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.
  2. Congressional Budgete Office, 2012. "Effective Marginal Tax Rates for Low- and Moderate-Income Workers," Reports 43709, Congressional Budget Office.
  3. David E. Davis, 2012. "Bidding for WIC Infant Formula Contracts: Do Non-WIC Customers Subsidize WIC Customers?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 94(1), pages 80-96.
  4. repec:mpr:mprres:5148 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Borjas, George J., 2004. "Food insecurity and public assistance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1421-1443, July.
  6. Karen Cunnyngham, 2010. "State Trends in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Eligibility and Participation Among Elderly Individuals," Mathematica Policy Research Reports e7d1f48339374239a6cbcedcc, Mathematica Policy Research.
  7. Congressional Budgete Office, 2012. "Effective Marginal Tax Rates for Low- and Moderate-Income Workers," Reports 43709, Congressional Budget Office.
  8. repec:cbo:report:43709 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Jayanta Bhattacharya & Janet Currie & Steven J. Haider, 2006. "Breakfast of Champions?: The School Breakfast Program and the Nutrition of Children and Families," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(3).
  10. Martha J. Bailey, 2012. "Reexamining the Impact of Family Planning Programs on US Fertility: Evidence from the War on Poverty and the Early Years of Title X," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 62-97, April.
  11. Karen Cunnyngham, "undated". "Trends in Food Stamp Program Participation Rates: 1994 to 2000," Mathematica Policy Research Reports ead78a926d2b4b8b93cae0c89, Mathematica Policy Research.
  12. Mary Kay Crepinsek & Anita Singh & Lawrence S. Bernstein & Joan E. McLaughlin, "undated". "Dietary Effects of Universal-Free School Breakfast: Findings from the Evaluation of the School Breakfast Program Pilot Project," Mathematica Policy Research Reports bf07801608ae4e3dbeb027a39, Mathematica Policy Research.
  13. Janet Currie & Firouz Gahvari, 2008. "Transfers in Cash and In-Kind: Theory Meets the Data," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(2), pages 333-383, June.
  14. Congressional Budgete Office, 2012. "Effective Marginal Tax Rates for Low- and Moderate-Income Workers," Reports 43709, Congressional Budget Office.
  15. repec:mpr:mprres:8033 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. repec:mpr:mprres:3299 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Douglas Almond & Hilary W. Hoynes & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, 2011. "Inside the War on Poverty: The Impact of Food Stamps on Birth Outcomes," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(2), pages 387-403, May.
  18. Maoyong Fan, 2010. "Do Food Stamps Contribute to Obesity in Low-Income Women? Evidence from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1165-1180.
  19. Andreyeva, Tatiana, 2012. "Effects of the Revised Food Packages for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) in Connecticut," Choices, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 27(3).
  20. Karen Cunnyngham & Amang Sukasih & Laura Castner, 2014. "Empirical Bayes Shrinkage Estimates of State Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Participation Rates in 2009-2011 for All Eligible People and the Working Poor," Mathematica Policy Research Reports cd4abeaaba2b4597ba20c6f38, Mathematica Policy Research.
  21. Marianne P. Bitler & Janet Currie, 2005. "Does WIC work? The effects of WIC on pregnancy and birth outcomes," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(1), pages 73-91.
  22. Congressional Budget Office, 2012. "The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program," Reports 43173, Congressional Budget Office.
  23. Congressional Budgete Office, 2012. "Effective Marginal Tax Rates for Low- and Moderate-Income Workers," Reports 43709, Congressional Budget Office.
  24. Karen Cunnyngham, 2002. "Trends in Food Stamp Program Participation Rates: 1994 to 2000 (Appendices)," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 793059f0253e4fa1aa1d237e9, Mathematica Policy Research.
  25. repec:cbo:report:43173 is not listed on IDEAS
  26. Karen E. Cunnyngham, 2014. "Reaching Those in Need: State Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Participation Rates in 2011," Mathematica Policy Research Reports d4a6e60f0f684c83ae9655953, Mathematica Policy Research.
  27. repec:mpr:mprres:3320 is not listed on IDEAS
  28. repec:mpr:mprres:6795 is not listed on IDEAS
  29. Coleman-Jensen, Alisha & Gregory, Christian & Singh, Anita, 2014. "Household Food Security in the United States in 2013," Economic Research Report 183589, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
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