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Work incentives and the Food Stamp Program

  • Hoynes, Hilary Williamson
  • Schanzenbach, Diane Whitmore

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.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 96 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 151-162

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:96:y:2012:i:1:p:151-162
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