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Does the Food Stamp Program Really Increase Obesity? The Importance of Accounting for Misclassification Errors

Author

Listed:
  • Vassilopoulos, Achilleas
  • Drichoutis, Andreas
  • Nayga, Rodolfo
  • Lazaridis, Panagiotis

Abstract

Over the last few decades, the prevalence of obesity among US citizens has grown rapidly, especially among low-income individuals. This has led to questions about the effectiveness of nutritional assistance programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamps Program (FSP). Results from previous studies generally suggest that FSP participation increases obesity. This finding is however based on analyses that assumed that participants do not misclassify their program participation. Significant misclassification errors have been reported in the literature. Using propensity score matching estimation and a new method to conduct extensive sensitivity analysis, we find that this finding is quite sensitive to misclassification errors above 10% and to functional form assumptions.

Suggested Citation

  • Vassilopoulos, Achilleas & Drichoutis, Andreas & Nayga, Rodolfo & Lazaridis, Panagiotis, 2011. "Does the Food Stamp Program Really Increase Obesity? The Importance of Accounting for Misclassification Errors," MPRA Paper 28768, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:28768
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    5. Charles L. Baum, 2011. "The Effects of Food Stamps on Obesity," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 623-651, January.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Lorenzo Almada & Ian McCarthy & Rusty Tchernis, 2016. "What Can We Learn about the Effects of Food Stamps on Obesity in the Presence of Misreporting?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 98(4), pages 997-1017.
    2. Almada, Lorenzo & McCarthy, Ian M., 2017. "It's a cruel summer: Household responses to reductions in government nutrition assistance," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 143(C), pages 45-57.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    matching estimators; sensitivity analysis; food stamps; obesity;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • C63 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computational Techniques
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General

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