Seminar - Food Assistance and its Effects on Child Health - Hilary Hoynes

The Economic and Social Participation team invites anyone who is interested in attending a seminar on Food Assistance and its Effects on Child Health by Hilary Hoynes. The workshop will be held on 7 Dec 4 -5pm, Theatre 3, Alan Gilbert Building (161 Barry St).

The event is free. Please RSVP via e-mail:

The talk:
Local Food Prices, SNAP Purchasing Power, and Child Health

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) is one of the most important elements of the social safety net in the U.S. Local food prices vary, leading to geographic variation in the real value of SNAP benefits. In this seminar, she will show the first estimates that leverage variation in the real value of SNAP benefits across markets to examine effects of SNAP on child health. The study links panel data on regional food prices to National Health Interview Survey data and uses a fixed effects framework to estimate the relationship between local purchasing power of SNAP and children’s health and health care utilization. It finds that children in market regions with lower SNAP purchasing power utilize less preventive health care. Lower real SNAP benefits also lead to an increase in school absences. The study finds no effect on reported health status.

The speaker:
Professor Hilary Hoynes

Hilary Hoynes is a Professor of Economics and Public Policy and holds the Haas Distinguished Chair in Economic Disparities at the University of California Berkeley. A distinguished scholar, she is this year’s Downing Fellow at the Faculty of Business and Economics, and will hold the Downing Lecture on The Long Run Effects of the Social Safety Net on 29 Nov 2017.

She specializes in the study of poverty, inequality, food and nutrition programs, and the impacts of government tax and transfer programs on low income families. Current projects include evaluating the effects of the access to the social safety net in early life on later life health and human capital outcomes, examining the effects of the Great Recession on poverty and the role of the safety net in mitigating income losses, and estimating the impact of Head Start on cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes.

Professor Hoynes is a member of the American Economic Association’s Executive Committee, the Federal Commission on Evidence-Based Policy Making, and the advisory committee of the Stanford Institute for Economic Research. In 2014 she received the Carolyn Shaw Bell Award from the Committee on the Status of the Economics Profession of the American Economic Association.