School Meal Crowd Out in the 1980s

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

1 Citation (Scopus)


This research explores whether the state provision of school meals in the 1980s crowded out private provision by examining two policy reforms that radically altered the UK school meal service. Both reforms effectively increased the cost of school meals for one group (the treated), leaving another unaffected (the controls). I find strong evidence of crowd out: the reforms reduced school meal take-up among the treated by 20-30 percentage points, with no difference among the controls. I then examine whether this affected children?s body weights, using a large, unique, longitudinal dataset of primary school children from 1972 to 1994. The findings show no evidence of any effects on child body weight.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)538-545
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Health Economics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2013

Bibliographical note

M1 - Article


  • Crowd Out; School Meal Provision; Child BMI; Difference-in-Difference
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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