The economics of food insecurity in the United States

Craig Gundersen, Brent Kreider, John Pepper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Food insecurity is experienced by millions of Americans and has increased dramatically in recent years. Due to its prevalence and many demonstrated negative health consequences, food insecurity is one of the most important nutrition-related public health issues in the U.S. In this article, we address three questions where economic insights and models have made important contributions: What are the determinants of food insecurity?; What are the causal effects of food insecurity on health outcomes?; and What is the impact of food assistance programs on food insecurity? We conclude with a discussion of the policy implications of the answers to these questions and future research opportunities in this research venue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberppr022
Pages (from-to)281-303
Number of pages23
JournalApplied Economic Perspectives and Policy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2011


  • Food insecurity
  • Food stamp program
  • Hunger
  • National school lunch program
  • Poverty
  • Program evaluation
  • Supplemental nutrition assistance program

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Economics and Econometrics


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