The Economics of Food Insecurity in the United States Jul 11, 2011 By John PepperCraig GundersenBrent Kreider The Economics of Food Insecurity in the United States Food insecurity is experienced by millions of Americans and has increased dramatically in recent years. Due to its prevalence and many demonstrated negative health consequences, food insecurity is one of the most important nutrition-related public health issues in the U.S. In this article, we address three questions where economic insights and models have made important contributions: What are the determinants of food insecurity?; What are the causal effects of food insecurity on health outcomes?; and What is the impact of food assistance programs on food insecurity? We conclude with a discussion of the policy implications of the answers to these questions and future research opportunities in this research venue. Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy Areas of focus Economics John Pepper John V. Pepper is a professor of economics and public policy at the Batten School and a professor of economics in the Department of Economics at the University of Virginia. His work examines identification problems that arise when evaluating a wide range of public policy questions including such subjects as health and disability programs, welfare policies (e.g., SNAP), and drug and crime policies. Read full bio Craig Gundersen Brent Kreider Related Content John Pepper Identifying the Effects of Food Stamps on the Nutritional Health of Children when Program participation is Misreported Research The literature assessing the efficacy of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, has long puzzled over positive associations between SNAP receipt and various undesirable health outcomes such as food insecurity. Assessing the causal impacts of SNAP, however, is hampered by two key identification problems: endogenous selection into participation and extensive systematic underreporting of participation status.Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), we extend partial identification bounding methods to account for these two identification problems in a single unifying framework. Deterrence and the Death Penalty: Partial Identification Analysis Using Repeated Cross Sections Research Objectives Researchers have used repeated cross sectional observations of homicide rates and sanctions to examine the deterrent effect of the adoption and implementation of death penalty statutes. The empirical literature, however, has failed to achieve consensus.