March 04 2016
Dr. Amarendra Sharma, Associate Professor of Economics, recently presented a paper entitled “Food Insecurity and Standardized Test Scores” at the ECONference-2016 on Inclusive and Sustainable Development organized by the Department of Economics, University of Burdwan in West Bengal, India.
The paper, a joint work with Abigail Carr '16, explores the impact of food insecurity on students’ standardized test scores by using a panel data of US states from 2005-2012. While estimating this relationship, the paper also addresses the endogeneity bias of food insecurity in the Math-SAT score regression by employing a dynamic panel specific system Generalized Method of Moments (GMM) estimator. The findings of this paper suggest that food insecurity is a significant factor in determining the average Math-SAT score, showing that an increase in food insecurity lowers the students’ Math-SAT scores. Although a few studies using small micro-level survey data have found evidence to link food insecurity to children’s learning outcomes, this is the first study to find this link using a macro level panel data for the US states. This indicates that the problem of food insecurity is much more pervasive than what the small scale studies have indicated so far, and that the issue needs to be dealt with in a more effective way through public policies, if the US is to succeed in the twenty-first century.
The paper is available at: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2723387