UKCPR announces awardees of new food insecurity research using PSID data

The University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research, in conjunction with the United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service and the Food and Nutrition Service, awarded six new projects that utilize the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) to analyze household food insecurity and its links to food assistance program participation, work, income, consumption, and wealth. The PSID began in 1968 as a survey of 4,800 American families and has since followed the children and grandchildren of original respondents. Today there are more than 11,000 PSID families and 26,000 individuals who participate in the survey.

The following projects represent $275,000 in funded research that are part of our second round of work utilizing PSID data to investigate food insecurity among U.S. residents.

Christopher Barrett, Cornell University (PI). Food insecurity and resilience in the United States: Indicators, dynamics, and predictive accuracy. The project will examine the correspondence of standard food security measures, household-level correlates and their comparison to established correlates, and how past food security status predicts future wellbeing outcomes, including food security status, children’s educational attainment, and household income per capita.

Mackenzie Brewer, Baylor University (PI). The impact of wealth and debt on the incidence and duration of household food insecurity. The project will establishe the extent to which financial assets and debt obligations promote resilience or increase vulnerablity to food insecurity. Researchers will also consider how financial coping strategies unfold across survey waves to affect food insecurity. The project will also assess household characteristics that promote or hinder food insecurity.

Hope Corman, Rider University (PI, Dhaval Dave, Bentley University (co-I), Nancy Reichman, Rutgers University (co-I). Effects of welfare reform on food insecurity across generations. This study will estimate the effects of the 1996 welfare reform legislation on food insecurity of the next generation of households and explore potential moderating effects of the SNAP Program. The legislation led to dramatic caseload declines and increases in employment of low-skilled women but led to extreme material hardships for some families.

Megan Curran, Columbia University (PI), Robert Hartley, Columbia University (co-I). Food security and policy effects by family size: How does quality of well-being depend on quantity of children? This project will investigate the intersection of family size, food insecurity, and the efficacy of food assistance programs and cash transfers for families with children. Households with children experience food insecurity at a rate 55% higher than childless ones. This study will explore how the food security status of families change when families change in size.

Cindy Leung, University of Michigan. Long-term impacts of college students’ food insecurity on future socioeconomic status, wealth, and food insecurity. This research will investigate gaps in knowledge about long-term impacts of food insecurity by following more than 2,500 college students to examine how college food insecurity affects educational attainment, employment, income, wealth accumulation, future food insecurity, and SNAP participation in early adulthood.

Daniel Millimet and Ian McDonough, Southern Methodist University. Examination of intra- and intergenerational food security mobility in the presence of measurement error. This project will address measurement error in the PSID and investigate food insecurity persistence within households and across generations, and patterns of generational food security among different races. Researchers will also analyze the causal effects of SNAP participation and minimum wage laws on food security mobility.