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Immigrants’ labor supply response to Food Stamp access

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  • East, Chloe N.

Abstract

Welfare reform in 1996 created a new, large disparity in Food Stamp eligibility between documented non-citizen immigrants and natives. Subsequent policies restored eligibility for most of these immigrants at different times in different states, and I use these changes to estimate the effect of program access on the labor supply of immigrants–a policy-relevant population. The Food Stamp program is one of the largest safety net programs today, and my analysis provides one of the first quasi-experimental estimates of the effects of the modern Food Stamp program on adult labor supply. I find strong evidence of labor supply disincentives, and the magnitude and margin of this response varies across demographic groups. Access to the program reduces the employment rates of single women by about 6%, whereas married men continue to work but reduce their hours of work by 5%. These findings confirm the predictions of traditional labor supply theory regarding the response to a means-tested program.

Suggested Citation

  • East, Chloe N., 2018. "Immigrants’ labor supply response to Food Stamp access," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 202-226.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:51:y:2018:i:c:p:202-226
    DOI: 10.1016/j.labeco.2018.01.003
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    2. Martha J. Bailey & Hilary W. Hoynes & Maya Rossin-Slater & Reed Walker, 2020. "Is the Social Safety Net a Long-Term Investment? Large-Scale Evidence from the Food Stamps Program," NBER Working Papers 26942, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Xu, Licheng, 2020. "Timing of SNAP disbursement and crime rate in the United States," 2020 Annual Meeting, July 26-28, Kansas City, Missouri 304248, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    4. Bratsberg, Bernt & Raaum, Oddbjørn & Røed, Knut, 2020. "Immigrant Responses to Social Insurance Generosity," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Food Stamps; Labor supply;

    JEL classification:

    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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