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Work incentives and the Food Stamp Program

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  • Hoynes, Hilary Williamson
  • Schanzenbach, Diane Whitmore

Abstract

Labor supply theory makes strong predictions about how the introduction or expansion of a social welfare program impacts work effort. Although there is a large literature on the work incentive effects of AFDC and the EITC, relatively little is known about the work incentive effects of the Food Stamp Program and none of the existing literature is based on quasi-experimental methods. We use the cross-county introduction of the program in the 1960s and 1970s to estimate the impact of the program on the extensive and intensive margins of labor supply, earnings, and family cash income. Consistent with theory, we find reductions in employment and hours worked when food stamps are introduced. The reductions are concentrated among families headed by single woman.

Suggested Citation

  • Hoynes, Hilary Williamson & Schanzenbach, Diane Whitmore, 2012. "Work incentives and the Food Stamp Program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 151-162.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:96:y:2012:i:1:p:151-162 DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2011.08.006
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    Cited by:

    1. Jeffrey Clemens, 2015. "The Minimum Wage and the Great Recession: Evidence from the Current Population Survey," NBER Working Papers 21830, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Hoynes, Hilary Williamson & Schanzenbach, Diane Whitmore, 2012. "Work incentives and the Food Stamp Program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 151-162.
    3. Pender, John & Jo, Young & Miller, Cristina, 2015. "Economic Impacts of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Payments in Nonmetro vs. Metro Counties," 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting, July 26-28, San Francisco, California 205626, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association;Western Agricultural Economics Association.
    4. Salvador Ortigueira & Nawid Siassi, 2016. "Anti-poverty Income Transfers in the U.S.: A Framework for the Evaluation of Policy Reforms," Working Papers 2016-04, University of Miami, Department of Economics.
    5. Laura Dague & Thomas DeLeire & Lindsey Leininger, 2014. "The Effect of Public Insurance Coverage for Childless Adults on Labor Supply," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 14-213, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    6. Melanie Guldi & Lucie Schmidt, 2017. "Taxes, Transfers, and Women’s Labor Supply in the United States," Working Papers 2017-01, University of Central Florida, Department of Economics.
    7. James Mabli & Irina Cheban, "undated". "Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Participants' Employment Characteristics and Barriers to Work," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 1ebf87cab08b460692a80530c, Mathematica Policy Research.
    8. Kyle Rozema & Nicolas Ziebarth, 2015. "Behavioral Responses to Taxation: Cigarette Taxes and Food Stamp Take-Up," Working Papers 150015, Canadian Centre for Health Economics.
    9. Harding, Matthew & Hsiaw, Alice, 2014. "Goal setting and energy conservation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 107(PA), pages 209-227.
    10. Lentz, Erin C. & Barrett, Christopher B., 2013. "The economics and nutritional impacts of food assistance policies and programs," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 151-163.
    11. Cuffey, Joel & Mykerezi, Elton & Beatty, Timothy, 2015. "Food Assistance and Labor Force Outcomes of Childless Adults: Evidence from the CPS," 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting, July 26-28, San Francisco, California 205821, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association;Western Agricultural Economics Association.
    12. Hartley, Robert Paul & Lamarche, Carlos & Ziliak, James P., 2017. "Welfare Reform and the Intergenerational Transmission of Dependence," IZA Discussion Papers 10942, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    13. repec:aea:aejpol:v:9:y:2017:i:2:p:124-54 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. David S. Jacks & Krishna Pendakur & Hitoshi Shigeoka, 2017. "Infant Mortality and the Repeal of Federal Prohibition," Working Papers 2017-036, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    15. Nathaniel Hendren, 2016. "The Policy Elasticity," Tax Policy and the Economy, University of Chicago Press, pages 51-89.
    16. Dragone, Davide & Ziebarth, Nicolas R., 2017. "Non-separable time preferences, novelty consumption and body weight: Theory and evidence from the East German transition to capitalism," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 41-65.
    17. Laura Dague & Thomas DeLeire & Lindsey Leininger, 2017. "The Effect of Public Insurance Coverage for Childless Adults on Labor Supply," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, pages 124-154.
    18. Dragone, D. & Ziebarth, N.R., 2015. "Non-Separable Time Preferences and Novelty Consumption: Theory and Evidence from the East German Transition to Capitalism," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 15/28, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    19. Hoynes, Hilary Williamson & Schanzenbach, Diane Whitmore, 2012. "Work incentives and the Food Stamp Program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 151-162.
    20. Chad Cotti & John Gordanier & Orgul Ozturk, 2016. "Eat (and Drink) Better Tonight: Food Stamp Benefit Timing and Drunk Driving Fatalities," American Journal of Health Economics, MIT Press, vol. 2(4), pages 511-534, Fall.
    21. Mocan, Naci & Raschke, Christian & Unel, Bulent, 2015. "The impact of mothers’ earnings on health inputs and infant health," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 19(C), pages 204-223.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Welfare policy; Labor supply;

    JEL classification:

    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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