The Effects of Energy Price Shocks on Household Food Security in Low-Income Households

Unexpected changes in energy prices, including prices for gasoline and heating fuel (natural gas and electricity), can affect three indicators of food distress, or food access at the household level. This study uses data from the Current Population Survey Food Security Supplement and the U.S. Energy Information Administration to examine the effects of unexpected changes in energy prices on household food security. Findings reveal that an unexpected rise in the prices of gasoline, natural gas, and electricity increases the probability of food access problems, while an unexpected drop in the price of each energy source decreases the probability. The overall estimates from the analysis are small, but the effects of energy price shocks increase in magnitude for low-income households. This effect suggests that low-income households are more vulnerable to unexpected jumps in energy prices than households with higher incomes.

Issue Date:
Jul 13 2017
Publication Type:
Total Pages:
Series Statement:
Economic Research Report Number 233

 Record created 2017-07-24, last modified 2017-08-29

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