Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School


First Advisor

David Davis


childcare, economics, endogeneity, food insecurity, instrumental variable, SNAP


This paper attempts to analyze the effects of subsidized food dollars on the amount of daily childcare in households. More specifically, households in the low income category are of interest because they are the most likely to receive food subsidies. There has been a political debate recently in the United States which argues over the appropriate level of subsidies, if any. More importantly, food insecurity is an issue in the world; many do not know where will the next meal come from. This paper provides statistical evidence that food subsidies in the form of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) have a positive effect on the amount of childcare in which enrolled households engage. Childcare is measured in minutes per day, and SNAP assistance is measured in dollar assistance. These effects are analyzed both before and after the increases to SNAP benefits provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). Through the review of related literature, this paper will show that authors in the discipline that have done studies related to food economics and childcare argue that children who receive more childcare are better off later in their lives. Also, other authors show that SNAP enrollment can decrease food insecurity. Statistical analysis in this paper is done using combined datasets from the Current Population Survey and the American Time Use Survey and the STATA© statistical package. Regression analysis and statistical hypothesis tests are the main tools for determining statistical significance. Models reported are an ordinary least square model and a two-stage least square model. Both are included in this paper because the statistical tests for endogeneity of the of the main explanatory variable do not provide evidence to support which model is more appropriate for the approximation of the partial effect of SNAP on childcare. The main conclusion found from these statistical tests is that childcare is positively affected at the household level by subsidized food dollars from SNAP. An implication is that increasing the magnitude of food subsidies in other forms may also have a positive impact on childcare at the household level. Future studies ought to examine the effects of other food subsidies in order to determine their viability in aiding with time households can spend in childcare.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Food relief

Child care

Food security

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (U.S.)


Includes bibliographical references (pages 74-75)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright