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It's a cruel summer: Household responses to reductions in government nutrition assistance

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  • Almada, Lorenzo
  • McCarthy, Ian M.

Abstract

The appropriate size and scope of government nutrition assistance programs is a regular source of debate among policy-makers, and with calls to reduce government benefits, a clear understanding of household responses to any proposed benefit reduction is critical. Exploiting the design of U.S. nutrition assistance programs, we examine how low-income households reallocate their budgets following an exogenous reduction in nutrition assistance benefits. The magnitude of our results suggests that the budget for an average low-income household with children is severely inflexible and likely unable to absorb more than a $2 to $3 reduction in nutrition benefits per child per week.

Suggested Citation

  • Almada, Lorenzo & McCarthy, Ian M., 2017. "It's a cruel summer: Household responses to reductions in government nutrition assistance," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 143(C), pages 45-57.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:143:y:2017:i:c:p:45-57
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2017.08.009
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    References listed on IDEAS

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