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Research Reports and Articles

FNS has a large and broad extramural research portfolio in each program area:

ERS research focuses especially on economic aspects of nutrition assistance programs.

The excellent research by previous RIDGE projects offers some of the best insight into the diversity of research questions, study designs, and data sources that are possible. ERS provides a list of past RIDGE projects. Here are just a few illustrative examples from the University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.

  • Gibson (2012). This study investigated the cross-sectional association between the food retail environment and nutrition-related outcomes. It used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) that are geography-specific, not available in the more commonly seen public use files.
  • Greenhalgh-Stanley (2013). This study sought to measure the effect of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participation on health and diet for older Americans (a comparatively less-frequently studied nutrition assistance population), using data from the Health and Retirement Survey. Instrumental variables were employed to address self-selection into SNAP.
  • Wimer, Wright, and Fong (2013). Using a small sample from San Francisco, this qualitative study explored the reasons why low-income people might not use sources of emergency food.
  • Morrissey, Jacknowitz, Vinopal (2012). This study analyzed data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort (ECLS-B) to measure the effects of fruit and vegetable prices on children’s body mass index (BMI). Fixed effects econometric models were used to control for unobserved potentially confounding factors (so long as the confounders were constant over time).
  • Allard, Danziger, and Wathen (2014). Using data from the Michigan Recession and Recovery Survey (MRRS), a panel survey of working-age adults in the Detroit area, this study explored how low-income families bundled SNAP benefits with other resources after the Great Recession.
  • Gould-Werth and Shaefer (2014). With more than a decade of panel data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), this study found higher use of Unemployment Insurance (UI) and SNAP together after the Great Recession.
  • Jackson and Schwartz (2014). This study examined whether participation in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) increased evenly for all age groups.