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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Sustainability
Title Welfare State Spending, Income Inequality and Food Insecurity in Affluent Nations: A Cross-National Examination of OECD Countries
Volume 13
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2021
Page numbers 324
URL https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/13/1/324
Few studies examine the distribution of food insecurity in advanced capitalist nations. This
research investigates cross-national food insecurity in the world’s largest economies by estimating
the impact of welfare spending and income inequality on food availability (measured by the FAO’s
Dietary Energy and Protein Supply indicators) and food accessibility (measured by the Food Insecurity Experience Scale) in 36 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
countries between the years of 2000 and 2018. Using a series of regression models on panel and
cross-sectional data this research found that increases in state spending on social and health care
are associated with (1) increases in food availability and (2) increases in food access. However, the
findings also suggest that increases in food supplies do not produce more food security. Thus, for the
OECD countries in this analysis, food availability is unrelated to food accessibility. We conclude by
suggesting that high income countries that seek to promote global health should not only focus their
efforts on poverty reduction polices that increase food accessibility within their own boarders, but
must simultaneously ensure a more equitable global distribution of food.