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Food Stamp Benefits and Child Poverty


  • Dean Jolliffe
  • Craig Gundersen
  • Laura Tiehen
  • Joshua Winicki


In 2000, 8.8 million children lived in households participating in the Food Stamp Program, making this assistance program a crucial component of the social safety net. Despite its importance, little research has examined food stamps' effect on children's overall well-being. Using the Current Population Survey from 1989 to 2001, we consider the impact of food stamps on three measures of poverty—the headcount, the poverty gap, and the squared poverty gap. We find that in comparison to the headcount measure, food stamp benefits lead to large reductions in the poverty gap and squared poverty gap measures. Copyright 2005, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Dean Jolliffe & Craig Gundersen & Laura Tiehen & Joshua Winicki, 2005. "Food Stamp Benefits and Child Poverty," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(3), pages 569-581.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ajagec:v:87:y:2005:i:3:p:569-581

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Tiehen, Laura & Jolliffe, Dean & Gundersen, Craig, 2012. "How State Policies Influence the Efficacy of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in Reducing Poverty," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124937, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    2. repec:bla:agecon:v:48:y:2017:i:4:p:469-480 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Bonanno, Alessandro & Ghosh, Gaurav S., 2010. "SNAP Efficacy and Food Access – A Nationwide Spatial Analysis," 115th Joint EAAE/AAEA Seminar, September 15-17, 2010, Freising-Weihenstephan, Germany 116437, European Association of Agricultural Economists;Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    4. Kalle Hirvonen & John Hoddinott, 2017. "Agricultural production and children's diets: evidence from rural Ethiopia," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 48(4), pages 469-480, July.
    5. Bruce Meyer & Robert Goerge, 2011. "Errors in Survey Reporting and Imputation and Their Effects on Estimates of Food Stamp Program Participation," Working Papers 11-14, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    6. Atasoy, Sibel & Mills, Bradford F. & Mykerezi, Elton, 2008. "Intensity of Food Stamp Use and Transient and Chronic Poverty: Evidence from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 6541, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    7. Hirvonen, Kalle & Hoddinott, John F., 2014. "Agricultural production and children’s diets: Evidence from rural Ethiopia:," ESSP working papers 69, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    8. Wu, Chi-Fang & Eamon, Mary Keegan, 2010. "Does receipt of public benefits reduce material hardship in low-income families with children?," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(10), pages 1262-1270, October.
    9. Baral, Ranju & Davis, George C. & Serrano, Elena & McFerren, Mary & You, Wen, 2013. "The Cost Effectiveness of Educating Limited Resource Youths on Food and Nutrition," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 150221, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    10. Wilson, Norbert L. W. & Zheng, Yuqing & Burney, Shaheer & Kaiser, Harry M., 2016. "Do Grocery Food Sales Taxes Cause Food Insecurity?," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 235324, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    11. Sri Ranjith & Anil Rupasingha, 2012. "Social and Cultural Determinants of Child Poverty in the United States," Journal of Economic Issues, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(1), pages 119-142.
    12. Bruce D. Meyer & Wallace K. C. Mok & James X. Sullivan, 2009. "The Under-Reporting of Transfers in Household Surveys: Its Nature and Consequences," NBER Working Papers 15181, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Jolliffe,Dean Mitchell & Serajuddin,Umar, 2015. "Estimating poverty with panel data, comparably : an example from Jordan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7373, The World Bank.
    14. Mykerezi, Elton & Mills, Bradford F., 2009. "On Intra-Annual Poverty in the U.S.: Prevalence, Causes and Response to Food Stamp Program Use," Staff Papers 49095, University of Minnesota, Department of Applied Economics.
    15. Cathleen Li, 2013. "Bias In Food Stamps Participation Estimates In The Presence Of Misreporting Error," Working Papers 13-13, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.

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