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Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Dynamics and Employment Transitions: The Role of Employment Instability


  • James Mabli
  • James C. Ohls


Employment transitions have been shown to be an important predictor of the decision to either enter or exit the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). However, little is known about how the associations between losing a job and entering the program, or between obtaining a job and leaving the program differ by individuals' more long-term employment experiences. This article uses a sample from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, collected from 2001 to 2003, to examine how long-term instability in employment affects the association between employment transitions and the decision to enter and exit SNAP. Empirical models of program entry and exit are estimated for a full sample and for family subgroups of particular interest to program policy-makers. Our results provide evidence that employment changes are more strongly associated with program entry and exit for individuals who are less accustomed to experiencing fluctuations in employment than those who are more accustomed to experiencing these fluctuations. Copyright 2012, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • James Mabli & James C. Ohls, 2012. "Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Dynamics and Employment Transitions: The Role of Employment Instability," Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 34(1), pages 187-213.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:apecpp:v:34:y:2012:i:1:p:187-213

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    Cited by:

    1. Jiyoon (June) Kim & H. Luke Shaefer, 2015. "Are Household Food Expenditures Responsive to Entry Into the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program?," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1086-1102, December.
    2. James Mabli & Irina Cheban, "undated". "Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Participants' Employment Characteristics and Barriers to Work," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 1ebf87cab08b460692a80530c, Mathematica Policy Research.
    3. Scherpf, Erik, 2013. "The Path to SNAP: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Dynamics Among Young Adults," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 150349, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

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