The objective of this article is to analyze the effect of pensions and of a subsidy for elderly persons in the propensity of households to be food insecure in Mexico. We analyzed cross-sectional data from the 2008 National Income and Expenditure Survey and compared food security status among households with elderly members who received pensions or a demogrant subsidy (exposed groups) and households with elderly members without such transfers (non-exposed groups). Propensity Score Matching was used to create comparable non-exposed groups. The exposed group of households receiving a pension were on average 6 percentage points more food secure than the non-exposed group; exposed households showed a significantly lower percentage of severe food insecure households (ranging from 2 to 4 percentage points). Those receiving a subsidy reported, on average, a significantly lower proportion of mild food insecurity (2 to 4 percentage points lower), and a greater proportion of low food insecurity (increase of 4 percentage points). Pensions and subsidies appear to have improved food security of households with elderly in Mexico, but the effects on actual food expenditure and diet are yet to be assessed. Findings are relevant to countries facing a demographic transition and that are likely to have elderly persons living with extended families.
|Keywords:||Pensions, Public Subsidies, Food Security, Financial Contributions to Households|
Associate Professor, Health Department, Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico, Mexico City (DF), Mexico
Research Assistant, Health Department, Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico, Mexico City (DF), Mexico