University of Wisconsin–Madison
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Food Insecurity and Food Access

This paper measures the relationship between food access and households’ food adult insecurity using two years of Current Population Survey û Food Security Supplement data, matched with MSA-level data on different food outlets (small grocery stores and convenience stores, medium and large grocery stores, convenience stores associated with gas stations and Wal-Mart Supercenters). Endogeneity of food stores’ location is tested and accounted for to eliminate spurious correlation between household food insecurity status and food access. The results indicate that while medium-large grocery stores and small food stores have a mitigating effect on adult food insecurity, especially among low-income households and households with children, convenience stores attached to gas stations seem to contribute to higher food insecurity levels among low-income households. The presence of Wal-Mart Supercenters seems to have no overall impact on adult food insecurity. Some results point to the company having a modest direct adult food insecurity-easing effect, and a detrimental indirect effect (via a negative impact on the number of other food stores helping reduce food insecurity), suggesting a null net effect of Wal-Mart Supercenters on adult food insecurity.


Food & Nutrition, Food Insecurity, Place, Spatial Mismatch