Lorenzo Almada is a postdoctoral research scientist at the Columbia Population Research Center. He received his Ph.D. in Economics in 2014 from the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University and his B.B.A in Economics from the University of Georgia in 2008. Dr. Almada’s research interests focus primarily on policy-driven questions in the field of health economics centered around the effects of food assistance programs and social policies on obesity and other diet-related outcomes.
Dr. Almada’s dissertation examines the effects of the Food Stamp Program on adult weight outcomes. The focus of his work is to uncover the causal effects of the program by applying rigorous identification methods as well as estimation techniques that address data limitations. His work sheds light on the intensive margin causal effects of food stamp benefits on obesity. Dr. Almada’s work also documents the considerable rates of food stamp participation under-reporting in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth-1979 cohort.
As a postdoctoral researcher, Dr. Almada is currently working with Professor Garfinkel on better understanding the relationship between economic hardships, program participation, and obesity using the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study. Almada is also serving as principal investigator on a recently awarded grant from the Institute for Research on Poverty and United States Department of Agriculture to study the effects of SNAP participation on non-food consumer spending. The focus of this project is to better understand how our nation’s largest food assistance program is helping families cover non-food related expenses, including rent/mortgage, utility bills, and investments in child education. Dr. Almada is also serving as co-investigator on a study funded by the Helmsley Charitable Trust that examines the extent of food insecurity intensity across different New York City neighborhoods.
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