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Food and Nutrition Assistance Research Database

Project: Food Demand in Low-Income Households
Award Year: 2007
Amount of award, fiscal 2007: $130,000.00
Institution: University of Tennessee
Principal Investigator: Steven Yen
Status: Ongoing
Detailed Objective: With rising concerns about obesity and other food-related health issues, policymakers are interested in understanding the potential for modifications in the food and nutrition assistance programs that could reinforce nutrition education in improving diets. Proposed modifications include restricting the food allowed for purchase with food stamp benefits; expanding food stamp benefits to buy more healthful foods, such as vouchers for fruit and vegetables; and adding fruit and vegetable vouchers to the WIC food package. The success of these interventions depends on a number of economic factors, including the participants' responses to changes in food prices and income. This study will estimate the effects of food prices and household income on the demand for fruits, vegetables, and other food products in low-income households, using data from the ACNielsen Homescan panel survey of household food purchases and the National Food Stamp Program Survey. Previous studies have investigated the price and income response for broad groups of food products. This study will expand on this earlier work by focusing on low-income households and using a hierarchical demand model to examine demand for subgroups of foods within the broader food categories. The study will estimate alternative systems of demand equations derived from the Translog indirect utility function. Observations with zero-valued expenditures will be accommodated by selecting from a list of three censored system estimators developed by the principal investigator. A fourth procedure will also be developed by improving on the virtual price approach of Lee and Pitt (1986) to overcome one of its shortcomings.
Topic: Food Prices and Demand
Dataset: AC Nielsen Data, National Food Stamp Program Survey (NFSPS)
Output:
Lin, B-H., S. Yen, D. Dong, and D. Smallwood. “Economic Incentives for Dietary Improvement Among Food Stamp Recipients,” Contemporary Economic Policy, Vol. 28, Issue 4, October 2010.
Lin, B-H., S. Yen, D. Dong, and D. Smallwood. “Economic Incentives for Dietary Improvement Among Food Stamp Recipients,” Contemporary Economic Policy, Vol. 28, Issue 4, October 2010.

Last updated: Friday, June 13, 2014

For more information contact: Victor Oliveira

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