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Low income families' utilization of the Federal “Safety Net”: Individual and state-level predictors of TANF and Food Stamp receipt

Author

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  • Purtell, Kelly M.
  • Gershoff, Elizabeth T.
  • Aber, J. Lawrence

Abstract

Two of the primary programs through which the federal government provides benefits to low income families are the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program and the Food Stamp program. However, many eligible low income families do not actually receive these benefits. We combined state-level policy data with rich data on a national sample of low income families to investigate family and state-level predictors of TANF and Food Stamp receipt. Our findings indicate: 1) families experiencing more economic hardship and health challenges are more likely to receive benefits, and 2) states' coverage is associated with families' receipt of TANF, but not Food Stamps. Implications for policy and research are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Purtell, Kelly M. & Gershoff, Elizabeth T. & Aber, J. Lawrence, 2012. "Low income families' utilization of the Federal “Safety Net”: Individual and state-level predictors of TANF and Food Stamp receipt," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 713-724.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:34:y:2012:i:4:p:713-724
    DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2011.12.016
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gundersen, Craig & Jolliffe, Dean & Tiehen, Laura, 2009. "The challenge of program evaluation: When increasing program participation decreases the relative well-being of participants," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 367-376, August.
    2. Nord, Mark, 2005. "Measuring U.S. Household Food Security," Amber Waves, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, April.
    3. Rebecca M. Blank, 2002. "Evaluating Welfare Reform in the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1105-1166, December.
    4. Marcia K. Meyers & Janet C. Gornick & Laura R. Peck, 2001. "Packaging Support for Low-Income Families: Policy Variation across the United States," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(3), pages 457-483.
    5. repec:mpr:mprres:4507 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Rebecca M. Blank & Patricia Ruggles, 1996. "When Do Women Use Aid to Families with Dependent Children and Food Stamps? The Dynamics of Eligibility Versus Participation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(1), pages 57-89.
    7. Dunifon, Rachel & Hynes, Kathryn & Peters, H. Elizabeth, 2006. "Welfare reform and child well-being," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(11), pages 1273-1292, November.
    8. Hanson, Kenneth & Andrews, Margaret S., 2009. "State Variations in the Food Stamp Benefit Reduction Rate for Earnings: Cross-Program Effects from TANF and SSI Cash Assistance," Economic Information Bulletin 58315, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    9. Marianne P. Bitler & Jonah B. Gelbach & Hilary W. Hoynes, 2006. "Welfare Reform and Children's Living Arrangements," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(1).
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    11. Bowen Garrett & Sherry Glied, 2000. "Does state AFDC generosity affect child SSI participation?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(2), pages 275-295.
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    Cited by:

    1. Slack, Kristen S. & Kim, Bomi & Yang, Mi-Youn & Berger, Lawrence M., 2014. "The economic safety net for low-income families with children," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 213-219.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Safety net; Low income families; TANF; Food stamps;

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