The Persistence of Healthy Behaviors in Food Purchasing

84 Pages Posted: 20 Mar 2018 Last revised: 24 Aug 2021

See all articles by Marit Hinnosaar

Marit Hinnosaar

University of Turin - Collegio Carlo Alberto; University of Nottingham

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 12, 2021


When a policy gives temporary incentives for healthy behaviors, how long does the impact last? I study the U.S. Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, which gives vouchers for healthy foods. Using household-level scanner data and exploiting a reform of the program, I find that the subsidies make purchases healthier, but the effect is short-lived. Demand model estimates imply that price differences between healthy and unhealthy foods play a large role in decreasing the program’s impact.

Keywords: Consumer Behavior, Dietary Choices, Long-Term Policy Effects, WIC, Food Subsidy

JEL Classification: D12, I12, L66, I38

Suggested Citation

Hinnosaar, Marit, The Persistence of Healthy Behaviors in Food Purchasing (July 12, 2021). Available at SSRN: or

Marit Hinnosaar (Contact Author)

University of Turin - Collegio Carlo Alberto ( email )

Piazza Arbarello
Torino, Torino 10122


University of Nottingham ( email )

University Park
Nottingham, NG8 1BB
United Kingdom

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