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Cash transference and food insecurity in Brazil: analysis of national data

OBJECTIVE: The 2004 National Household Survey Data was analyzed to test the hypothesis that cash transference from government social programs is associated with household food security. METHODS: Secondary data were used from the National Household Sample Survey which interviewed residents of 112,716 households. The present analysis included permanent and temporary private households, where food security items were informed by a resident of the household, restricting the collection of data to households with per capita monthly income of up to 1 minimum wage, representing 51.2% of the sample. Three models for estimating the amount of cash transference were developed; model 3 was chosen because it was less likely to overestimate effects. To analyze how cash transference affected the prevalence of food security, only households that received cash transference were included in the analysis, representing 14.2% of the interviewed households. The association between food security and cash transference, controlled for other independent variables, was estimated using a logistic regression model with stepwise method for each of the three income strata. RESULTS: The mean per capita cash transference was of R$81.68 per family. Multiple logistic regression showed an increased chance of food security of 8% per each R$10.00 contributed by social programs. Rural residence, male head of household, and Caucasian head of household were factors that also presented a higher chance of food security. CONCLUSION: The hypothesis was confirmed, showing a positive association between cash transfer and household food security, regardless of the effects of other explanatory factors.

Household survey; Proverty; Public policy; Food security

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