Lorenzo Almada is a Provost Postdoctoral Research Scientist at the Columbia Population Research Center and a 2015-2016 Visiting Food Assistance Scholar at the Institute for Research on Poverty. 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 in 2008 from the University of Georgia. Dr. Almada’s research interests broadly focus on policy-driven questions in the fields of health and public economics. His work centers on better understanding the determinants of food insecurity and other diet-related outcomes as well as estimating the causal effects of food assistance programs and social policies on health and wellbeing.
Dr. Almada’s dissertation examines the effects of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP - formerly 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 and estimation techniques that address data limitations. His work sheds light on the intensive margin effects of SNAP benefits on adult obesity. Dr. Almada’s work also documents the considerable rates of SNAP participation under-reporting in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth-1979 cohort and the implications of such misreporting on estimating program effects.
While at Columbia, Dr. Almada is collaborating with Irv Garfinkel, Mitchell I. Ginsberg Professor of Contemporary Urban Problems and Co-Director of the Columbia Population Research Center and the Center on Poverty and and Social Policy, on examining the relationship between economic hardships, program participation, and obesity using the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study. In addition, Dr. Almada is serving as principal investigator on multiple grant-funded studies that investigate the role of SNAP on household consumption and wellbeing as well as the intersection between the food environment and food insecurity. Dr. Almada is also collaborating with Chris Wimer, Co-Director of the Center on Poverty and Social Policy, on a number of grant-funded projects with the aim of quantifying the extent of food insecurity intensity and food budget shortfall across different New York City neighborhoods.
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