Asset Building Financial Inclusion Working Paper

Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Food Insufficiency: Evidence From a Statewide Probability Sample of White, African American, American Indian, and Hispanic Infants

This study examines racial and ethnic disparities in the experience of food insufficiency among families with infants, focusing on the roles of socioeconomic characteristics. It uses the SEED for Oklahoma Kids baseline survey data collected from a probability sample of white, African American, American Indian, and Hispanic caregivers of infants randomly selected from Oklahoma’s birth certificates. Fairlie’s extension of the Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition is employed to analyze these data. Results suggest that whites experience food insufficiency at a statistically significantly lower rate than do the three minority groups. Compositional gaps in economic and noneconomic resources are found to explain much of the group differences in levels of food insufficiency. Findings also imply that levels of asset ownership and access to credit are lower among minority groups than among whites and contribute to higher levels of food insufficiency among minority groups.

Citation

Nam, Y., Huang, J., Heflin, C., & Sherraden, M. (2012). Racial and ethnic disparities in food insufficiency: Evidence from a statewide probability sample of White, African American, American Indian, and Hispanic infants (CSD Working Paper No. 12-45). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development