NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Ian McCarthy

Department of Economics
Emory University
Rich Memorial Building, Room 319
Atlanta, GA 30322
Tel: 404/727-8808

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NBER Program Affiliations: HE
NBER Affiliation: Faculty Research Fellow

NBER Working Papers and Publications

July 2017It's a Cruel Summer: Household Responses to Reductions in Government Nutrition Assistance
with Lorenzo Almada: w23633
The appropriate size and scope of government nutrition assistance programs is a regular source of debate among policy-makers, and with calls to reduce government benefits, a clear understanding of household responses to any proposed benefit reduction is critical. Exploiting the design of U.S. nutrition assistance programs, we examine how low-income households reallocate their budgets following an exogenous reduction in nutrition assistance benefits. The magnitude of our results suggests that the budget for an average low-income household with children is severely inflexible and likely unable to absorb more than a $2 to $3 reduction in nutrition benefits per child per week.

Published: Lorenzo Almada & Ian M. McCarthy, 2017. "It's a Cruel Summer: Household Responses to Reductions in Government Nutrition Assistance," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, .

September 2015What Can We Learn About the Effects of Food Stamps on Obesity in the Presence of Misreporting?
with Lorenzo Almada, Rusty Tchernis: w21596
There is an increasing perception among policy makers that food stamp benefits contribute positively to adult obesity rates. We show that these results are heavily dependent on one's assumptions regarding the accuracy of reported food stamp participation. When allowing for misreporting, we find no evidence that SNAP participation significantly increases the probability of being obese or overweight among adults. Our results also highlight the inherent bias and inconsistency of common point estimates when ignoring misreporting, with treatment effects from instrumental variable methods exceeding the non-parametric upper bounds by over 200% in some cases.

Published: Lorenzo Almada & Ian McCarthy & Rusty Tchernis, 2016. "What Can We Learn about the Effects of Food Stamps on Obesity in the Presence of Misreporting?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 98(4), pages 997-1017. citation courtesy of

 
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