Living arrangements and food insufficiency among seniors

This study investigates recent trends in living arrangements among older Americans and how they relate to nutrition assistance program participation and food insufficiency. We specifically focus on the rising propensity for older adults to live with children under 18 and the decline in living in institutions. We find that both of these living arrangements are associated with SNAP participation and with patterns of food insufficiency. Using an event study design, we find suggestive evidence that living in an institution may alleviate food insufficiency. Seniors living with children under 18 appear to have rising rates of food insufficiency even before the period of co-residence, suggesting that other factors may be driving both food hardship and living arrangements.



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Tara Watson Lara Shore-Sheppard Lucie Schmidt Kristin Butcher