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Dynamics of Food Stamp Program Participation, 2001-2003


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  • Scott Cody
  • Laura Castner
  • James Mabli
  • Julie Sykes


The Food Stamp Program provides assistance to millions of families each month. This report examines how long families tend to receive food stamps, and what circumstances lead them to enter and exit the program. About half the families that begin receiving benefits participate for eight months or less. Changes in earnings help explain why individuals enter (and subsequently exit) the program. More than half of the families that entered the program between 2001 and 2003 did so after a drop in monthly earnings; three-quarters of the families that left the program over this period did so when their total monthly income increased by more than 10 percent. The data source was the 2001 panel of the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), a nationally representative, short-term longitudinal survey that collects detailed information on monthly labor force activity, earned and unearned income, cash and noncash assistance, and family and household composition.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Mathematica Policy Research in its series Mathematica Policy Research Reports with number 5674.

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Length: 310
Date of creation: 30 Nov 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mpr:mprres:5674

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Postal: Mathematica Policy Research P.O. Box 2393 Princeton, NJ 08543-2393 Attn: Communications
Fax: (609) 799-0005
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Keywords: Food Stamp Program Participation; FSP;

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Cited by:
  1. Laura Castner & James Mabli & Julie Sykes, 2009. "Dynamics of WIC Program Participation by Infants and Children, 2001 to 2003," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 6256, Mathematica Policy Research.
  2. Quinn Moore & Kevin Conway & Brandon Kyler, 2012. "Direct Certification in the National School Lunch Program: State Implementation Progress School Year 2011-2012," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 7615, Mathematica Policy Research.
  3. Quinn Moore & Kevin Conway & Brandon Kyler & Andrew Gothro, 2013. "Direct Certification in the National School Lunch Program: State Implementation Progress, School Year 2012-2013," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 7988, Mathematica Policy Research.
  4. James Mabli & Emily Sama Martin & Laura Castner, 2009. "Effects of Economic Conditions and Program Policy on State Food Stamp Program Caseloads: 2000 to 2006," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 6321, Mathematica Policy Research.
  5. Quinn Moore & Kevin Conway & Brandon Kyler, 2011. "Direct Certification in the National School Lunch Program: State Implementation Progress School Year 2010-2011," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 7128, Mathematica Policy Research.
  6. Scherpf, Erik, 2013. "The Path to SNAP: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Dynamics Among Young Adults," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 150349, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  7. John L. Czajka & James Mabli & Scott Cody, 2008. "Sample Loss and Survey Bias in Estimates of Social Security Beneficiaries: A Tale of Two Surveys," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 6064, Mathematica Policy Research.


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