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Prev Med. 2015 Jan;70:108-16. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2014.11.017. Epub 2014 Dec 1.

A difference-in-differences approach to estimate the effect of income-supplementation on food insecurity.

Author information

1
Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Occupational Health, McGill University, 1020 Pine Ave West, Montreal, Quebec H3A 1A2, Canada. Electronic address: RIonescu-Ittu@analysisgroup.com.
2
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California at San Francisco (UCSF), 185 Berry Street West, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA. Electronic address: mglymour@psg.ucsf.edu.
3
Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Occupational Health, McGill University, 1020 Pine Ave West, Montreal, Quebec H3A 1A2, Canada. Electronic address: jay.kaufman@mcgill.ca.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) is a 2006 Canadian federal policy of income supplementation that provides parents with $100 monthly in Canadian dollars for each child aged <6years. The study main objective was to estimate the causal effect of UCCB on self-reported food insecurity overall and in vulnerable subgroups.

METHOD:

The Canadian Community Health Survey (2001-2009) was used to conduct a difference-in-differences (DID) regression analysis for the effect of the UCCB on self-reported food insecurity. Respondents were ages ≥12 in families with at least one child aged <6years (UCCB-eligible, n=22,737) or a child aged 6-11 but no child <6years (control group, n=17,664).

RESULTS:

Over the study period 16.3% of respondents experienced some level of food insecurity. Overall, UCCB reduced the proportion of respondents reporting food insecurity by 2.4% (95% CI: -4.0%, -0.9%). There was a significantly stronger impact on food insecurity for respondents from households with yearly income below the population median (-4.3%, 95% CI: -7.2%, -1.4%) and respondents from single parent families (-5.4%, 95% CI: -10.3%, -0.6%).

CONCLUSION:

We found that a relatively small monthly income supplementation results in a significant reduction in food insecurity at the population level, with larger effects in vulnerable groups.

KEYWORDS:

Causal effects; Difference-in-differences; Food insecurity; Income supplementation policy

PMID:
25475685
DOI:
10.1016/j.ypmed.2014.11.017
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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