Does receipt of public benefits reduce material hardship in low-income families with children?
Using data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (1996 and 2001 panels), we determined that experiencing four types of material hardships (inadequate housing, inability to meet basic expenses, unmet medical/dental need, and food insufficiency) was common in low-income families with children. These hardships existed even though 85% of the families received at least one public benefit during the previous year. Receipt of public benefits also was related to an increased risk of experiencing all four types of material hardships. Finally, we attempted to adjust for one type of selection bias by considering families' need and their failure to access public benefits or additional benefits. We found that families reporting a need and failing to access public benefits for a variety of reasons, or to access additional benefits regardless of the number of benefits received, were more likely to experience material hardship compared with families receiving public benefits and reporting no need. These findings suggest that public benefits are insufficient to fully alleviate material hardship, and barriers to accessing public benefits may be one reason. If these families were able to access benefits that meet basic needs, receipt of public benefits might reduce material hardship.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- 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.
- Maria Cancian & Daniel R. Meyer, 2004. "Alternative measures of economic success among TANF participants: Avoiding poverty, hardship, and dependence on public assistance," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(3), pages 531-548.
- Dean Jolliffe & Craig Gundersen & Laura Tiehen & Joshua Winicki, 2005. "Food Stamp Benefits and Child Poverty," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(3), pages 569-581.
- Maria J. Hanratty, 2006. "Has the Food Stamp program become more accessible? Impacts of recent changes in reporting requirements and asset eligibility limits," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(3), pages 603-621.
- Wu, Chi-Fang & Eamon, Mary Keegan, 2010. "Need for and barriers to accessing public benefits among low-income families with children," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 58-66, January.
- Iceland, John & Bauman, Kurt J., 2007. "Income poverty and material hardship: How strong is the association?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 376-396, June.
- Huffman, Sonya Kostova & Jensen, Helen H., 2003. "Do Food Assistance Programs Improve Household Food Security?: Recent Evidence From The United States," 2003 Annual meeting, July 27-30, Montreal, Canada 22219, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
- Susan E. Mayer & Christopher Jencks, 1989. "Poverty and the Distribution of Material Hardship," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 24(1), pages 88-114.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:32:y:2010:i:10:p:1262-1270. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.