Poverty and InequalitySexual and Reproductive HealthFamily, Maternal & Child HealthMethodology

Child age and gender differences in food security in a low-income U.S. inner-city population

TitleChild age and gender differences in food security in a low-income U.S. inner-city population
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsMoffitt, RA, Ribar, DC
JournalEuropean Economic Review
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number00142921 (ISSN)
KeywordsChild Welfare, children, family structure, Food insecurity, food security, gender, gender disparity, household structure, inner city area, Intrafamily allocation, low income population, Three-City Study, United States

A long literature in economics studies differential allocations of resources to children within the family. In a study of approximately 1600 very disadvantaged households with children in three cities in the U.S. from 1999 to 2005, significant differences in levels of food allocation, as measured by an indicator of food “insecurity,” are found across children of different ages and genders. Using answers to unique survey questions for a specific child in the household, food insecurity levels are much higher among older children than among younger ones, and to be sometimes higher among older boys than among older girls. Allocations are strongly correlated with the dietary needs of the child as well as with household structure and the level of family organization. However, the differences appear only in the poorest households with the lowest levels of money income and household resources in general, and most differences disappear in significance or are greatly reduced in magnitude when resources rise to only modest levels. © 2018 Elsevier Ltd