Economics at your fingertips  

Free Lunch for All! The Effect of the Community Eligibility Provision on Academic Outcomes

John Gordanier, Orgul Ozturk (), Breyon Williams and Crystal Zhan

Economics of Education Review, 2020, vol. 77, issue C

Abstract: We analyze the effect of the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), a universal free-lunch program, on elementary and middle school students' academic performance and attendance in the state of South Carolina. As part of the program, eligible schools can provide free lunches to all students, regardless of whether an individual student qualifies for free or reduced lunch. Using a difference-in-differences approach, we show that CEP leads to about 0.06 of a standard deviation increase in math test scores for elementary school students. We find smaller effects on reading scores and on middle school students. These effects also vary by student poverty, school poverty, and locality. In particular, we find students that were previously eligible for free lunches but not on other public assistance programs benefit the most from CEP. The results may suggest that the expansion of access to free lunch help improve students' academic outcomes.

Keywords: School Meals; Academic Performance; CEP; Free Lunch; Poverty (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H52 I24 I38 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

DOI: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2020.101999

Access Statistics for this article

Economics of Education Review is currently edited by E. Cohn

More articles in Economics of Education Review from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Catherine Liu ().

Page updated 2021-06-30
Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:77:y:2020:i:c:s0272775719307605