Search Results

Author: Tchernis, Rusty
Resulting in 5 citations.
1. Almada, Lorenzo Nicolas
McCarthy, Ian M.
Tchernis, Rusty
What Can we Learn about the Effects of Food Stamps on Obesity in the Presence of Misreporting?
American Journal of Agricultural Economics 98,4 (July 2016): 997-1017.
Also: http://ajae.oxfordjournals.org/content/98/4/997
Cohort(s): NLSY79
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Keyword(s): Food Stamps (see Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program); Modeling, Instrumental Variables; Obesity; Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps); Underreporting

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

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 ones 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.
Bibliography Citation
Almada, Lorenzo Nicolas, Ian M. McCarthy and Rusty Tchernis. "What Can we Learn about the Effects of Food Stamps on Obesity in the Presence of Misreporting? ." American Journal of Agricultural Economics 98,4 (July 2016): 997-1017.
2. Almada, Lorenzo Nicolas
Tchernis, Rusty
Measuring Effects of SNAP on Obesity at the Intensive Margin
NBER Working Paper No. 22681, National Bureau of Economic Research, September 2016.
Also: http://nber.org/papers/w22681
Cohort(s): NLSY79
Publisher: National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Keyword(s): Body Mass Index (BMI); Food Stamps (see Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program); Obesity; Program Participation/Evaluation; Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps)

The effects of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) on obesity have been the focus of much debate. However, causal interpretation of estimates from previous studies, comparing participants to non-participants, is complicated by endogeneity and possible misreporting of participation in SNAP. In this paper, we take a novel approach to examine quasi-experimental variation in SNAP benefit amount on adult obesity. Children of SNAP households qualify for free in-school meals, thus freeing some additional benefits for the household. A greater proportion of school-age children eligible for free in-school meals proxies for an exogenous increase in the amount of SNAP benefits available per adult. Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth-1979 we show that school meals represent a non-trivial part of the food budget for SNAP households. We find that increases in SNAP benefits have no effect on obesity levels for the full sample of those who report SNAP participation. To better isolate the effects of additional benefits from other potential changes we restrict our analysis to adults living in households with at least one child under 5 years of age. In this setting, we find that additional SNAP benefits reduce BMI and the probability of being obese for SNAP adults.
Bibliography Citation
Almada, Lorenzo Nicolas and Rusty Tchernis. "Measuring Effects of SNAP on Obesity at the Intensive Margin." NBER Working Paper No. 22681, National Bureau of Economic Research, September 2016.
3. Almada, Lorenzo Nicolas
Tchernis, Rusty
Measuring Effects of SNAP on Obesity at the Intensive Margin
Economics and Human Biology 31 (September 2018): 150-163.
Also: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1570677X17302253
Cohort(s): NLSY79
Publisher: Elsevier
Keyword(s): Body Mass Index (BMI); Obesity; Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps)

The effects of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) on obesity have been the focus of much debate. However, causal interpretation of estimates from previous studies, comparing participants to non-participants, is complicated by endogeneity and possible misreporting of participation in SNAP. In this paper, we take a novel approach to examine quasi-experimental variation in SNAP benefit amount on adult obesity. Children of SNAP households qualify for free in-school meals, thus freeing some additional benefits for the household. A greater proportion of school-age children eligible for free in-school meals proxies for an exogenous increase in the amount of SNAP benefits available per adult. Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth-1979 we show that school meals represent a non-trivial part of the food budget for SNAP households. We find that increases in SNAP benefits have no effect on obesity levels for the full sample of those who report SNAP participation. To better isolate the effects of additional benefits from other potential changes we restrict our analysis to adults living in households with at least one child under 5 years of age. In this setting, we find that additional SNAP benefits reduce BMI and the probability of being obese for SNAP adults. Specifically, when one child in a household of four becomes school-aged, adult BMI is expected to decrease by 0.23 units and the probability of being obese decreases by 2.58 percentage points or by about 10%.
Bibliography Citation
Almada, Lorenzo Nicolas and Rusty Tchernis. "Measuring Effects of SNAP on Obesity at the Intensive Margin." Economics and Human Biology 31 (September 2018): 150-163.
4. Courtemanche, Charles
Tchernis, Rusty
Zhou, Xilin
Parental Work Hours and Childhood Obesity: Evidence Using Instrumental Variables Related to Sibling School Eligibility
NBER Working Paper No. 23376, National Bureau of Economic Research, May 2017.
Also: http://www.nber.org/papers/w23376
Cohort(s): Children of the NLSY79, NLSY79, NLSY79 Young Adult
Publisher: National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Keyword(s): Childhood; Maternal Employment; Modeling, Instrumental Variables; Obesity; Parental Influences; School Entry/Readiness; Siblings; Work Hours

This study exploits plausibly exogenous variation from the youngest sibling's school eligibility to estimate the effects of parental work on the weight outcomes of older children in the household. Data come from the 1979 cohort of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth linked to the Child and Young Adult Supplement. We first show that mothers' work hours increase gradually as the age of the youngest child rises, whereas mothers' spouses' work hours exhibit a discontinuous jump at kindergarten eligibility. Leveraging these insights, we develop an instrumental variables model that shows that parents' work hours lead to larger increases in children's BMI z-scores and probabilities of being overweight and obese than those identified in previous studies. We find no evidence that the impacts of maternal and paternal work are different. Subsample analyses find that the effects are concentrated among advantaged households, as measured by an index involving education, race, and mother's marital status.
Bibliography Citation
Courtemanche, Charles, Rusty Tchernis and Xilin Zhou. "Parental Work Hours and Childhood Obesity: Evidence Using Instrumental Variables Related to Sibling School Eligibility." NBER Working Paper No. 23376, National Bureau of Economic Research, May 2017.
5. Nguimkeu, Pierre
Denteh, Augustine
Tchernis, Rusty
On the Estimation of Treatment Effects with Endogenous Misreporting
NBER Working Paper No. 24117, National Bureau of Economic Research, December 2017.
Also: http://www.nber.org/papers/w24117
Cohort(s): NLSY79
Publisher: National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Keyword(s): Body Mass Index (BMI); Geocoded Data; Modeling, OLS; Obesity; Program Participation/Evaluation; Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps); Underreporting

Participation in social programs is often misreported in survey data, complicating the estimation of the effects of those programs. In this paper, we propose a model to estimate treatment effects under endogenous participation and endogenous misreporting. We show that failure to account for endogenous misreporting can result in the estimate of the treatment effect having an opposite sign from the true effect. We present an expression for the asymptotic bias of both OLS and IV estimators and discuss the conditions under which sign reversal may occur. We provide a method for eliminating this bias when researchers have access to information related to both participation and misreporting. We establish the consistency and asymptotic normality of our estimator and assess its small sample performance through Monte Carlo simulations. An empirical example is given to illustrate the proposed method.
Bibliography Citation
Nguimkeu, Pierre, Augustine Denteh and Rusty Tchernis. "On the Estimation of Treatment Effects with Endogenous Misreporting." NBER Working Paper No. 24117, National Bureau of Economic Research, December 2017.