Dan Millimet and PhD alum Ian McDonough receive best paper prize!

Congratulations to Professor Dan Millimet and 2014 PhD alum Ian McDonough for receiving the 2019 best paper prize in Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy! The title of their paper is Criminal Incarceration, Statutory Bans on Food Assistance, and Food Security in Extremely Vulnerable Households: Findings from a Partnership with the North Texas Food Bank.

Dan and Ian used a grant along with logistical help from the North Texas Food Bank (NTFB) to administer their own survey of more than 1000 individuals getting food from NTFB’s food pantry system in North Texas in 2014. While all individuals in the survey got food from a food pantry, they differ in their level of food insecurity since this food security not only reflects hunger but all the stress and fear associated with insufficient food. Dan and Ian investigate how a person’s food insecurity depends on prior criminal incarceration.

While they find that there is little relationship between past incarceration and current food insecurity overall, they do find that prior drug-related offenses increases current food insecurity. The reason for the importance of drug-related offenses is that prior incarceration for drug-related offenses prevents individuals from receiving food stamps (officially, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). Given this finding, it’s encouraging that, starting from September 1, 2015, Texas no longer disqualified individuals with a prior drug-related felony from receiving food stamps.

After finishing his PhD in 2014 under the supervision of Dan, Ian started at the University of Nevada – Las Vegas in Fall 2015 and will begin Fall 2020 a newly promoted Associate Professor, so congratulations Ian!


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