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Do Intra-Household Effects Generate the Food Stamp Cash-Out Puzzle?


  • Robert Breunig
  • Indraneel Dasgupta


Previous empirical studies have noted the higher marginal propensity to consume food out of food stamps in the United States, compared to that out of cash income. Analyzing data from U.S. Food Stamp Program participants, we find evidence that this discrepancy may be driven primarily by the behavior of multiple-adult households. Single-adult households show no evidence of any discrepancy. Thus, our results suggest that food stamp and cash income (welfare or market) may have very different impact on the intra-household allocation process, and that this is reflected empirically in the cash-out puzzle. Copyright 2005, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Breunig & Indraneel Dasgupta, 2005. "Do Intra-Household Effects Generate the Food Stamp Cash-Out Puzzle?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(3), pages 552-568.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ajagec:v:87:y:2005:i:3:p:552-568

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Robert Breunig & Indraneel Dasgupta, 2003. "Are People Ashamed of Paying with Food Stamps?," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(2), pages 203-225.
    2. Chen, Zhiqi & Woolley, Frances, 2001. "A Cournot-Nash Model of Family Decision Making," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(474), pages 722-748, October.
    3. Wilde, Parke E. & Ranney, Christine K., 1996. "The Distinct Impact Of Food Stamps On Food Spending," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 21(01), July.
    4. Robert V. Breunig & Indraneel Dasgupta, 2002. "A Theoretical and Empirical Evaluation of the Functiona Forms Used to Estimate the Food Expenditure Equation of Food Stamp Recipients: Comment," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 84(4), pages 1156-1160.
    5. repec:mpr:mprres:1253 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Dasgupta, Indraneel, 2001. "Gender-biased redistribution and intra-household distribution," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(9), pages 1711-1722, October.
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