Date of Award

8-2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Major

Agricultural Economics

Major Professor

Steven T. Yen

Committee Members

Christopher Clark, Mary F. Evans, Kimberly L. Jensen

Abstract

The socioeconomic determinants of participant in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and effects of the program on nutrient intakes are investigated. The dependent variable is transformed by logarithm which facilitates estimation of the model. Marginal effects of explanatory variables are calculated which make interpretation of the effects of explanatory variables easier. The result suggests SNAP plays a significant role in nutrient intakes. The effects of participation in SNAP are negative on vitamin C and positive on all other nutrients (protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron), for males, females, and both genders combined. Income, household size, presence of children, and other socio-demographic variables all affect individuals’ decisions on program participation and nutrient intakes. Results suggest the effects of socio-demographic variables are very different, in signs and magnitudes, between the participants and non-participants. These differentiated effects of socio-demographic variables are likely to be masked by the use of a more conventional model (such as the single or multiple equation treatment effect models) and highlight the importance of using the Switching System Regression.

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