Exposure to stressful life experiences during childhood, such as food insecurity, can have negative consequences for attainment later in life. The developmental timing of stressful events and how they influence outcomes over the life course is a critical area of research. Indeed, a more comprehensive understanding of the latter life consequences of childhood food insecurity could guide policy-makers in designing more effective social policies to reduce the severity of the poor life outcomes.
The persistence of disadvantage across generations is a central concern for social policy in the United States. While an extensive literature has focused on income mobility, much less is known about the mechanisms for mobility out of material hardship. This study uses the Panel Study of Income Dynamics to provide the first point estimates of the intergenerational transmission of food insecurity.
The influence of nutrition assistance program participation, parental nutritional knowledge, and family foodways on food security and child well-being
In this report we present results from our study of the effect of SNAP and WIC participation during childhood on food insecurity risk in young adulthood. We also examined the effect of parental nutritional knowledge and childhood food involvement on food insecurity in young adulthood. We used data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics Original Childhood Development Supplement.
This study examined the long-term consequences of frequency, timing, and severity of food insecurity exposure in childhood on health and health care utilization in adulthood using nearly 20 years of data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. The findings provide evidence of the long-lasting health effects of childhood food insecurity. Young adults who experienced food insecurity as children have higher psychological distress, even when adjusting for childhood socioeconomic status, parent’s health, health during childhood, and food insecurity during adulthood. More sever
Using partial identification methods and data from the PSID, we analyze the causal transmission of food security across generations. Food security rates are positively correlated across generations; food security rates in 2015 are 20 points higher for respondents who grew up in households that were secure in 1999 than those growing up in food insecure households. Despite these strong associations, the intergenerational effect of growing up in a food secure household remains uncertain. .
This version of DP2019-01 is a June 2020 update. Evaluations of the EITC, including its antipoverty effectiveness, are based on simulated EITC benefits using either the Census Bureau’s tax module or from external tax simulators such as the National Bureau of Economic Research’s TAXSIM or Jon Bakija’s model. Each simulator utilizes model-based assumptions on who is and who is not eligible for the EITC, and conditional on eligibility, assumes that participation is 100 percent.
We use longitudinal administrative tax data from Washington DC (DC) to study how EITC expansions undertaken by Washington DC affect income and inequality in the city. We find that DC EITC credit expansions between 2001 and 2009 are associated with recipient pre-tax earnings growth of roughly 3-4 percent, primarily among single mothers. Together these credits reduce post-tax inequality for the 10th percentile relative to median households. However, composition changes in the city and growing overall inequality mitigates this inequality reduction toward the end of the period.
Estimating the associations between SNAP and food insecurity, obesity, and food purchases with imperfect administrative measures of participation
Administrative data are considered the “gold standard” when measuring program participation, but little evidence exists on the potential problems with administrative records or their implications for econometric estimates. We explore issues with administrative data using the FoodAPS, a unique dataset that contains two different administrative measures of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participation as well as a survey-based measure.
In the early 90’s, the United States reformed its welfare system through state waivers and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. These changes altered family resources and potential investments for childhood human capital, which in turn could affect later adult outcomes. Using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, I examine the long-run impact of growing up under welfare reform on adult education and family structure through age 28. I find that as children, these individuals have higher reading test scores by an average of 6% of a standard deviation.
Previous literature documents a strong relationship between food insecurity and mental health, and also examines the impact of safety net programs on food insecurity. However, little is known about the intersection between mental health, safety net participation, and food insecurity. In this research, we use a multi-program safety net calculator (including cash, food, and health insurance programs) and data from the National Health Interview Survey and the Current Population Survey to examine the effects of safety net generosity on food insecurity and mental health for single mother families. We examine four research questions. First, does state safety net generosity affect self-reported participation in safety net programs? Second, does mental health affect participation in safety net programs, conditional on generosity? Third, does more generous cash and food assistance affect mental health? And finally, how effective is the safety net in reducing food insecurity in the presence of mental health issues? We find that state-level safety net generosity does predict self-reported participation, and that conditional on generosity, those with mental health issues are significantly more likely to participate in safety net programs. More generous cash and food assistance is protective of maternal mental health, but results are somewhat sensitive to the measure of mental health examined. Finally, we find no effect of the safety net on 30-day food insecurity. These results have important implications for the effectiveness of safety net programs for some of the most vulnerable members of society: low-income mothers suffering from mental health challenges and their children.