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Do Food Stamps Cause Obesity? A Generalised Bayesian Instrumental Variable Approach in the Presence of Heteroscedasticity

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  • Salois, Matthew
  • Balcombe, Kelvin

Abstract

The impact of covariates on obesity in the US is investigated, with particular attention given to the role of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The potential endogeneity of participation in SNAP is considered as a potential problem in investigating its causal influence on obesity using instrumental variable (IV) approaches. Due to the presence of heteroscedasticity in the errors, the approach for dealing with heteroscedastic errors in Geweke (1993) is extended to the Bayesian instrumental variable estimator outlined in Rossi et al. (2005). This approach leads to substantively different findings to a standard classical IV approach to correcting for heteroscedasticity. Although findings support the contention that the SNAP participation rate is associated with a greater prevalence of obesity, the evidence for this impact is substantially weakened when using the methods introduced in the paper.

Suggested Citation

  • Salois, Matthew & Balcombe, Kelvin, 2011. "Do Food Stamps Cause Obesity? A Generalised Bayesian Instrumental Variable Approach in the Presence of Heteroscedasticity," MPRA Paper 28745, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:28745
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Elton Mykerezi & Bradford Mills, 2010. "The Impact of Food Stamp Program Participation on Household Food Insecurity," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1379-1391.
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    4. David N. Figlio & Craig Gundersen & James P. Ziliak, 2000. "The Effects of the Macroeconomy and Welfare Reform on Food Stamp Caseloads," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 82(3), pages 635-641.
    5. 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.
    6. Kaushal, N., 2007. "Do food stamps cause obesity?: Evidence from immigrant experience," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 968-991, September.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Bayesian; Food Stamps; Food Insecurity; Instrumental Variabls; Heteroscedasticity; Obesity.;

    JEL classification:

    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • I00 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General - - - General
    • C31 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models; Quantile Regressions; Social Interaction Models
    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • C11 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Bayesian Analysis: General

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