Discussion Paper Details

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Title: How long do healthy habits last? The role of prices

Author(s): Marit Hinnosaar

Publication Date: March 2018

Keyword(s): Consumer behavior, dietary choices and long-term policy effects

Programme Area(s): Industrial Organization

Abstract: When a policy gives temporary incentives for healthy behaviors, how long does the impact last? I study the U.S. Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, which gives vouchers for healthy foods. Using household-level scanner data, I find that the effect of the program diminishes when households become ineligible. Demand model estimates show that price differences between healthy and unhealthy foods play a large role in the decrease of the program's impact. The estimates imply that the program has a persistent effect, in that it increases the impact of subsequent policies like subsidies on healthy foods.

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Bibliographic Reference

Hinnosaar, M. 2018. 'How long do healthy habits last? The role of prices'. London, Centre for Economic Policy Research.