"Household Food Insecurity: Effects of State Grocery Tax Variation"
Abstract : Food insecurity is being recognized as major health crisis in the United States. Households that experience food insecurity are either unable or uncertain that they can acquire enough food to meet their nutritional needs. On average an estimated 10.5 percent (13.7 million) of U.S. households were food-insecure at least some time during the year 2019. The prevalence of food insecurity is also larger for more vulnerable groups, such as low-income households, and minorities. This paper examines the relationship between food insecurity among US households and state sales taxes on food. Few studies have explored how grocery food sales taxes affect food insecurity prevalence in the US. This study contributes to the literature by using the change in food sales taxes across states and time and difference-in-differences and fixed-effects ordered logit models to estimate impact of food tax changes on self-reported food insecurity. I find that decreases in the food sales tax decreases the likelihood of being a food insecure household and eliminating the food sales tax contributes to a marginal improvement in a household’s food security level. Conversely, food sales tax increases result in a decrease in self-reported food security.
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