The Impact of Waiting Periods on Food Choice Decisions

Project Summary: 

The project team is examining how introducing waiting periods into the decision-making process affects the food purchasing choices of SNAP recipients. Investigators are particularly focusing on various ways in which subsidies for healthy foods could be distributed in order to optimize both the effective promotion of healthy consumption and the preservation of choice for participants. Results from the study will provide guidance on how policy-makers might enhance food-assistance programs to achieve different program goals.


Health: Grocery purchases, number of days USDA’s Targeted Fruits and Vegetables were consumed, and self-report of household’s diet quality and meal consumption

Other: Value of Targeted Fruits and Vegetables purchases as a fraction of the overall grocery purchase


Randomized control trial testing four different combinations of which foods are subsidized and when the subsidies are delivered. A probit or linear probability model is used to measure the impact of different subsidies treatments on the purchases of Targeted Fruits and Vegetables (TFVs); a tobit or linear regression models to measure the value of TFVs purchased; random effects linear probability and probit models to estimate the treatment effect on subsidy choice.

Principal Investigators: 

Andy Brownback, PhD

Alex Imas, PhD

Michael Kuhn, PhD

Grant Start Date: 
June 2017
Award Amount & Duration: 

$ 198,940 and 18 months