Behavioral Food Subsidies
64 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2019 Last revised: 3 Jun 2021
Date Written: January 1, 2021
We conduct a field experiment with low-income shoppers to study how behavioral interventions can improve the effectiveness of healthy food subsidies. Our unique design enables us to elicit choices and deliver subsidies both before and at the point of purchase. We examine the effects of two non-restrictive changes to the choice environment: giving shoppers agency over what subsidy they receive and introducing a waiting period before the shopping trip to prompt deliberation about their purchases. Combined, our interventions enhance the subsidies, increasing healthy purchases by 61% relative to a restrictive healthy subsidy, and 199% relative to a control group.
Keywords: nutrition, subsidy, agency, deliberation, waiting periods, field experiment
JEL Classification: D9, D12, C93
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation