Breakfast at School: A First Look at the Role of Time and Location for Participation and Nutritional Intake

19 Pages Posted: 21 Apr 2020

See all articles by Klaus Moeltner

Klaus Moeltner

University of Nevada - Department of Resource Economics

Karen Spears

Georgia Southern University

Ling Yu

Discover Financial Services

Date Written: January 2019

Abstract

Participation in the subsidized School Breakfast Program has traditionally been unsatisfactory. Universally free breakfast service in the classroom has boosted participation, but is not financially feasible for many schools. Furthermore, it is unclear to what extent participation under the standard cafeteria setting is hampered due to insufficient time to eat. This study separately identifies time and location effects using a unique, individual‐level panel data set of elementary school students under three experimental treatments: original setup in the cafeteria, original setup plus ten minutes of mandatory presence in the cafeteria, and in‐classroom service. We find that the extra time plus the fixed location effect in the cafeteria increases average daily participation by approximately 20%, while the transition to classroom implementation adds another 35%–45% for the typical student. We also collect detailed data on nutritional intake, and find that, in total, neither treatment has a significant effect on consumption compared to the baseline.

Keywords: Children's nutrition, field experiment, panel data models, subsidized school meals

Suggested Citation

Moeltner, Klaus and Spears, Karen and Yu, Ling, Breakfast at School: A First Look at the Role of Time and Location for Participation and Nutritional Intake (January 2019). American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Vol. 101, Issue 1, pp. 39-57, 2019, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3578911 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajae/aay048

Klaus Moeltner (Contact Author)

University of Nevada - Department of Resource Economics ( email )

1664 N. Virginia Street
Reno, NV 89557
United States
(775) 784-4803 (Phone)
(775) 784-1342 (Fax)

Karen Spears

Georgia Southern University

P.O. Box 8151
Statesboro, GA 30460-8151
United States

Ling Yu

Discover Financial Services

Riverwoods, IL 60015
United States

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