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A Monthly Cycle in Food Expenditure and Intake by Participants in the U.S. Food Stamp Program

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  • P. Wilde
  • C. Ranney

Abstract

This paper uses nationally representative data to describe monthly cycles in food expenditure and food intake by food stamp recipients. Food expenditure peaks sharply in the first 3 days after food stamps are received. The corresponding cycle in food intake differs for various categories of food stamp recipients. Food stamp recipients who also receive AFDC appear to maintain steady food intake across the whole month, while AFDC nonrecipients experience a significant drop in intake at the end of the month. Children appear to maintain steady food intake, while adults appear to experience a significant drop. Households that conduct major grocery shopping trips more frequently than once per month maintain steady food intake, while households that shop less frequently experience a significant drop. The food stamp cycle has implications for two areas of research: the measurement of hunger and food insecurity in the United States and the measurement of the impact of the U.S. Food Stamp Program. Intramonthly patterns in food expenditure and food intake have potential implications for policy decisions about the frequency of food stamp benefit delivery, the evaluation of new electronic benefit transfer systems that are replacing traditional food stamp coupons, and nutrition education efforts.

Suggested Citation

  • P. Wilde & C. Ranney, "undated". "A Monthly Cycle in Food Expenditure and Intake by Participants in the U.S. Food Stamp Program," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1163-98, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  • Handle: RePEc:wop:wispod:1163-98
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    File URL: http://www.irp.wisc.edu/publications/dps/pdfs/dp116398.pdf
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    1. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1988:78:10:1298-1301_9 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. E. A. Frongillo Jr. & C. M. Olson & B. S Rauschenbach & A. Kendall, "undated". "Nutritional Consequences of Food Insecurity in a Rural New York State County," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1120-97, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    3. Moffitt, Robert, 1989. "Estimating the Value of an In-Kind Transfer: The Case of Food Stamps," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 385-409, March.
    4. Parke E. Wilde & Christine K. Ranney, 2000. "The Monthly Food Stamp Cycle: Shooping Frequency and Food Intake Decisions in an Endogenous Switching Regression Framework," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 82(1), pages 200-213.
    5. Meghir, Costas & Robin, Jean-Marc, 1992. "Frequency of purchase and the estimation of demand systems," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1-3), pages 53-85.
    6. Wilde, Parke E. & Ranney, Christine K., 1996. "The Distinct Impact Of Food Stamps On Food Spending," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 21(01), July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mary Zaki, 2016. "Access to Short-term Credit and Consumption Smoothing within the Paycycle," Working Papers 2016.07, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    2. von Hinke Kessler Scholder, Stephanie, 2013. "School meal crowd out in the 1980s," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, pages 538-545.
    3. Bhattacharya, J. & DeLeire, T. & Haider, S. & Currie, J., 2003. "Heat or Eat? Cold-Weather Shocks and Nutrition in Poor American Families," American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, vol. 93(7), pages 1149-1154.
    4. Zaki, Mary, 2016. "Access to Short-term Credit and Consumption Smoothing within the Paycycle," ET: Economic Theory 232213, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM).
    5. Jay Bhattacharya & Janet Currie, 2001. "Youths at Nutrition Risk: Malnourished or Misnourished?," NBER Chapters,in: Risky Behavior among Youths: An Economic Analysis, pages 483-522 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Beatrice Lorge Rogers & Jennifer Coates, 2002. "Food-Based Safety Nets and Related Programs," Working Papers in Food Policy and Nutrition 12, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.

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