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Does SNAP Decrease Food Insecurity? Untangling the Self-Selection Effect

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Author Info

  • Nord, Mark
  • Golla, Anne Marie

Abstract

Self-selection by more food-needy households into the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly called the Food Stamp Program) makes it difficult to observe positive effects of the program in survey data. This study investigates self-selection and ameliorative program effects by examining households’ food security month by month for several months prior to initial receipt of SNAP benefits and for several months after joining the program. Two-year panels are constructed by matching the same households interviewed in the Current Population Survey Food Security Supplement in 2 consecutive years using data from 2001 to 2006. Food security is observed to deteriorate in the 6 months prior to beginning to receive SNAP benefits and to improve shortly after. The results clearly demonstrate the self-selection by households into SNAP at a time when they are more severely food insecure. The results are consistent with a moderate ameliorative effect of SNAP—reducing the prevalence of very low food security among recent entrants by about one-third—although they do not conclusively demonstrate that extent of amelioration.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service in its series Economic Research Report with number 55955.

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Date of creation: Oct 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ags:uersrr:55955

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Related research

Keywords: food insecurity; food stamps; food security; hunger; very low food security; SNAP; longitudinal analysis; Agricultural and Food Policy; Consumer/Household Economics; Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety; Food Security and Poverty; Institutional and Behavioral Economics;

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  1. Ribar, David C. & Hamrick, Karen S., 2003. "Dynamics Of Poverty And Food Sufficiency," Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Reports 33851, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  2. Helen H. Jensen, 2002. "Food Insecurity and the Food Stamp Program," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1215-1228.
  3. Bartfeld, Judi & Dunifon, Rachel & Nord, Mark & Carlson, Steven, 2006. "What Factors Account for State-to-State Differences in Food Security?," Economic Information Bulletin 7086, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  4. Parke Wilde & Mark Nord, 2005. "The Effect of Food Stamps on Food Security: A Panel Data Approach ," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 27(3), pages 425-432.
  5. Craig Gundersen & Victor Oliveira, 2001. "The Food Stamp Program and Food Insufficiency," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 83(4), pages 875-887.
  6. Steven T. Yen & Margaret Andrews & Zhuo Chen & David B. Eastwood, 2008. "Food Stamp Program Participation and Food Insecurity: An Instrumental Variables Approach," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 90(1), pages 117-132.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. James Mabli, 2014. "SNAP Participation and Urban and Rural Food Security," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 8084, Mathematica Policy Research.
  2. Nord, Mark & Parker, Lynn, 2010. "How adequately are food needs of children in low-income households being met?," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(9), pages 1175-1185, September.
  3. Ranney, Christine K. & Gomez, Miguel I., 2010. "Food Stamps, Food Insufficiency and Health of the Elderly," Working Papers 126968, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
  4. James Mabli & Jim Ohls & Lisa Dragoset & Laura Castner & Betsy Santos, 2013. "Measuring the Effect of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Participation on Food Security," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 7860, Mathematica Policy Research.
  5. Coleman-Jensen, Alisha & Nord, Mark, 2013. "Food Insecurity Among Households With Working-Age Adults With Disabilities," Economic Research Report 142955, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  6. Nord, Mark, 2013. "Effects of the Decline in the Real Value of SNAP Benefits From 2009 to 2011," Economic Research Report 155384, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  7. Beatty, Timothy K.M. & Tuttle, Charlotte, 2011. "Food Secure In 30 Minutes or Less: The Relationship Between Time Use and Food Security," 2011 Annual Meeting, July 24-26, 2011, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 103804, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  8. Gregory, Christian A. & Ver Ploeg, Michele & Andrews, Margaret S. & Coleman-Jensen, Alisha, 2012. "SNAP and Diet Quality: An Instrumental Variables Approach," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124757, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  9. Coleman-Jensen, Alisha & Nord, Mark & Andrews, Margaret S. & Carlson, Steven, 2011. "Household Food Security in the United States in 2010," Economic Research Report 118021, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  10. Li, Yiran & Mills, Bradford F. & Mykerezi, Elton, 2012. "Food Stamp Program and Food Insecurity Dynamics: Using Intra-Annual Measurements," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124681, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  11. Coleman-Jensen, Alisha & Nord, Mark & Andrews, Margaret S. & Carlson, Steven, 2011. "Household Food Security in the United States in 2011," Economic Research Report 134715, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  12. Bonanno, Alessandro & Ghosh, Gaurav S., 2010. "SNAP Efficacy and Food Access – A Nationwide Spatial Analysis," 115th Joint EAAE/AAEA Seminar, September 15-17, 2010, Freising-Weihenstephan, Germany 116437, European Association of Agricultural Economists;Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  13. James Mabli, 2014. "SNAP Participation, Food Security, and Geographic Access to Food," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 8083, Mathematica Policy Research.

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