Examination of food security dynamics in the presence of measurement error

We examine intra- and intergenerational food security dynamics in the United States using longitudinal data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) while accounting for measurement error. To proceed, we apply recently developed methods on the partial identification of transition matrices. We show that accounting for measurement error is crucial as even modest errors can dwarf the information contained in the data. Nonetheless, we find that much can be learned under fairly weak assumptions; the strongest and most informative being that measurement errors are serially uncorrelated. While the evidence of both intragenerational and intergenerational is consistent with significant mobility, we also find food security status to be persistent for at least some households in the tails of the distribution. Finally, we document some heterogeneities in the dynamics across households differentiated by race and education.



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Ian K. McDonough Daniel L. Millimet