Food stamps and the time cost of food preparation
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Using a structural model of time allocation between household production and market work, I estimate the shadow wage of household production. I combine data from the American Time Use Survey and the Current Population Survey’s Food Security Supplement to estimate the time cost as well as the total cost of food preparation at home. Using information on whether a household received food stamp benefits, I compare actual food stamp recipients’ time cost to those who do not receive food stamp benefits. Previous literature that also uses American Time Use Survey data suggests that “typical” food stamp recipients incur a higher time cost of preparing food at home. I cannot confirm this finding using actual data on food stamp recipients and non-recipients. In fact, the lower shadow wage of household production of food stamp recipients more than offsets the larger amount of time spent preparing food at home, generating lower time cost of food preparation for them.
KeywordsFood stamps American time use survey Home production Food-at-home
JEL ClassificationD13 I38 J22
I would like to thank Naci Mocan, Kaj Gittings, seminar participants at Louisiana State University, two anonymous referees, as well as the editor for their valuable comments. Any remaining errors are my own.
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