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Rasch Analyses of Very Low Food Security among Households and Children in the Three City Study

Robert Moffitt () and David Ribar ()

Southern Economic Journal, 2016, vol. 82, issue 4, 1123-1146

Abstract: The longitudinal Three City Study (TCS) of low-income families with children measures food hardships using fewer and some different questions from the standard U.S. instrument, the Household Food Security Survey Module (HFSSM) in the Current Population Survey (CPS). We use a Rasch measurement model to identify thresholds of very low food security among households and among children in the TCS that are comparable to thresholds from the HFSSM. We also use the TCS to empirically investigate the determinants of food insecurity and of these specific food insecurity outcomes, estimating a multivariate behavioral Rasch model that is adapted to address longitudinal data. The estimation results indicate that participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program reduce food insecurity, while poverty and disability among caregivers increase it. Besides its longitudinal structure, the TCS measures many more characteristics about households than the CPS. Our estimates reveal that financial assistance through social networks and a household's own financial assets reduce food insecurity, while its outstanding loans increase insecurity.

JEL-codes: I31 I38 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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