Behavioral Food Subsidies

64 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2019 Last revised: 3 Jun 2021

See all articles by Andy Brownback

Andy Brownback

University of Arkansas

Alex Imas

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business

Michael Kuhn

University of Oregon - Department of Economics

Date Written: January 1, 2021

Abstract

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

Brownback, Andy and Imas, Alex and Kuhn, Michael, Behavioral Food Subsidies (January 1, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3422272 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3422272

Andy Brownback (Contact Author)

University of Arkansas ( email )

Fayetteville, AR 72701
United States

Alex Imas

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Michael Kuhn

University of Oregon - Department of Economics ( email )

Eugene, OR 97403
United States

HOME PAGE: http://pages.uoregon.edu/mkuhn

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