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The Path to SNAP: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Dynamics Among Young Adults

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  • Scherpf, Erik
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    Abstract

    This study investigates young adults’ first experience with the Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), examining the determinants of first program entry and exit. It makes use of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 cohort (NLSY97), which follows respondents from adolescence into adulthood. This study estimates discrete-time hazard models of program entry and exit with and without unobserved heterogeneity. Unobserved heterogeneity is modeled using both a parametric approach, in which a gamma distribution is assumed, and a non-parametric approach with two mass points. The results are broadly consistent across models, indicating that, for the cohort in this study, accounting for unobserved heterogeneity does not substantially alter the results from a basic discrete-time hazard model. The results show that expanded categorical eligibility increased the hazard of SNAP entry in the six years following high school, while the absence of vehicle exclusions decreased the entry hazard. For program exit, however, state SNAP policies had no statistically significant effect. The recent birth of a child, prior participation in WIC and low educational attainment were each strongly associated with an increased “risk” of SNAP entry, and decreased “risk” of exit. Somewhat, surprisingly, higher unemployment rates in the local labor market were not significantly associated with higher entry risk, but were strongly associated with a lower exit risk.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in its series 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. with number 150349.

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    Date of creation: 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea13:150349

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    Keywords: Consumer/Household Economics; Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety; Institutional and Behavioral Economics; Public Economics; Research Methods/ Statistical Methods;

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    1. Charles R. Pierret, 2001. "Event History Data and Survey Recall: An Analysis of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 Recall Experiment," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 36(3), pages 439-466.
    2. Meyer, Bruce D, 1990. "Unemployment Insurance and Unemployment Spells," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(4), pages 757-82, July.
    3. James Mabli & Stephen Tordella & Laura Castner & Thomas Godfrey & Priscilla Foran, 2011. "Dynamics of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Participation in the Mid-2000s," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 7136, Mathematica Policy Research.
    4. Lloyd Grieger & Sheldon Danziger, 2011. "Who Receives Food Stamps During Adulthood? Analyzing Repeatable Events With Incomplete Event Histories," Demography, Springer, vol. 48(4), pages 1601-1614, November.
    5. Bruce Meyer & Robert Goerge, 2011. "Errors in Survey Reporting and Imputation and Their Effects on Estimates of Food Stamp Program Participation," Working Papers 11-14, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    6. Heckman, James & Singer, Burton, 1984. "A Method for Minimizing the Impact of Distributional Assumptions in Econometric Models for Duration Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 271-320, March.
    7. Scott Cody & Laura Castner & James Mabli & Julie Sykes, 2007. "Dynamics of Food Stamp Program Participation, 2001-2003," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 5674, Mathematica Policy Research.
    8. Scott Cody & Phil Gleason & Bruce Schechter & Miki Satake & Julie Sykes, 2005. "Food Stamp Program Entry and Exit: An Analysis of Participation Trends in the 1990s," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 4670, Mathematica Policy Research.
    9. Scott Cody & Laura A. Castner & James Mabli & Julie Sykes, 2007. "Dynamics of Food Stamp Program Participation, 2001-2003 Summary," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 5676, Mathematica Policy Research.
    10. Philip Gleason & Peter Schochet & Robert Moffitt, 1998. "The Dynamics of Food Stamp Program Participation in the Early 1990s," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 1855, Mathematica Policy Research.
    11. Bruce D. Meyer & Wallace K. C. Mok & James X. Sullivan, 2009. "The Under-Reporting of Transfers in Household Surveys: Its Nature and Consequences," Working Papers 0903, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
    12. James Mabli & James C. Ohls, 2012. "Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Dynamics and Employment Transitions: The Role of Employment Instability," Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 34(1), pages 187-213.
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