Food Insecurity and Standardized Test Scores

18 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2016

Date Written: July 26, 2015


This paper aims to explore the impact of food insecurity on students’ standardized test scores by using a panel data of US states from 2005-2012. While estimating this relationship, we also address the endogeneity bias of food insecurity in the math-SAT score regression by relying on a dynamic panel specific system GMM estimator. We find that food insecurity is a significant factor in determining the average math-SAT score. An increase in food insecurity lowers the students’ Math-SAT scores. Although, a few studies using small micro-level survey data have found evidence to link food insecurity to children’s learning outcomes, this is the first study to find this link using a macro level panel data for the US states, indicating that the problem of food insecurity is much more pervasive than what the small scale studies have indicated so far, and needs to be dealt with in a more effective way through public policies, if the US has to succeed in the twenty first century.

Keywords: Food Insecurity, Learning Outcomes, SAT, System GMM, US.

JEL Classification: H75, I00

Suggested Citation

Sharma, Amarendra and Carr, Abigail, Food Insecurity and Standardized Test Scores (July 26, 2015). Available at SSRN: or

Amarendra Sharma (Contact Author)

Elmira College ( email )

United States

Abigail Carr

Elmira College ( email )

United States

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