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Food Stamp Participation among Adult-Only Households


  • David C. Ribar

    () (Department of Economics, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, P.O. Box 26165, Greensboro, NC 27402, USA;)

  • Marilyn Edelhoch

    () (Division of Family Assistance, South Carolina Department of Social Services, 1535 Confederate Avenue, Columbia, SC 29202, USA;)

  • Qiduan Liu

    () (Institute for Families in Society, University of South Carolina, 1600 Hampton Street, Suite 507, Columbia, SC 29208, USA;)


Several recent changes in the Food Stamp Program have been directed toward households without children, including new work requirements for able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) and easier application and recertification procedures for the disabled and the elderly. Despite their relevance to policy makers, adult-only households have not been extensively examined. We use administrative records from South Carolina to investigate how spells of food stamp participation for adult-only households vary with ABAWD provisions, recertification intervals, and other characteristics. We find that households that were subject to ABAWD policies had shorter spells and lower rates of food stamp participation than other households. We also find that households were much more likely to leave the Food Stamp Program at recertification dates than at other dates. We further find that time limits were associated with exits with and without earnings, suggesting that this policy increased selfsufficiency for some households but left others without support.

Suggested Citation

  • David C. Ribar & Marilyn Edelhoch & Qiduan Liu, 2010. "Food Stamp Participation among Adult-Only Households," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 244-270, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:77:2:y:2010:p:244-270

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. George Mutasa, 2012. "Demographic, Community and Macroeconomic Effects on Disability Grant Programme Participation," Working Papers 12155, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
    3. Rabbitt, Matthew P., 2013. "Measuring the Effect of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Participation on Food Insecurity Using a Behavioral Rasch Selection Model," UNCG Economics Working Papers 13-20, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor


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