How Long Do Healthy Habits Last? The Role of Prices
42 Pages Posted: 20 Mar 2018 Last revised: 25 Mar 2018
Date Written: March 21, 2018
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, I find that the effect of the program diminishes when households become ineligible. Demand model estimates show that price differences between healthy and unhealthy foods play a large role in the decrease of the program’s impact. The estimates imply that the program has a persistent effect, in that it increases the impact of subsequent policies like subsidies on healthy foods.
Keywords: Consumer Behavior, Dietary Choices, Long-Term Policy Effects
JEL Classification: D12, I12, L66, I38
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation