Racial and ethnic disparities in food insufficiency: Evidence from a statewide probability sample

Yunju Nam, Jin Huang, Colleen Heflin, Michael Sherraden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Objective: This study examines racial/ethnic disparities in the experience of food insufficiency among families with infants, focusing on the roles of socioeconomic characteristics. Method: We examine the SEED for Oklahoma Kids experiment data collected from a probability sample of White, African American, American Indian, and Hispanic caregivers of infants randomly selected from Okla-homa’s birth certificates (N = 2,652). Data are analyzed using Fairlie’s extension of the Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition. Results: Whites experience food insufficiency at a statistically significantly lower rate than do the 3 minority groups. Estimates suggest most of the racial/ethnic disparity in food insufficiency is explained by compositional differences in economic and noneconomic resources between Whites and minority groups. In particular, lower levels of asset ownership and access to credit among minority groups are estimated to contribute to higher levels of food insufficiency in comparison with Whites. Conclusions: Higher levels of food insufficiency among racial/ethnic minority families call for interventions for these families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-228
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of the Society for Social Work and Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Credit card
  • Decomposition
  • Food insecurity
  • SEED for Oklahoma Kids
  • Wealth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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