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If at first you don't succeed: applying for and staying on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

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  • D. Ribar
  • Christopher A. Swann

Abstract

We examine households' applications to and participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program using administrative records from South Carolina. We model application resolutions with multinomial logit (MNL) specifications where the possible outcomes are acceptance, denial due to income ineligibility, denial due to a failure to provide sufficient information and denial due to other reasons. For cases with successful applications, we model the durations of participation spells using competing risk hazard specifications that distinguish among exits that result from missed recertifications, financial ineligibility, incomplete or missing information and other reasons. The application and hazard outcomes depend on past programme behaviour and observed characteristics. The results indicate that a household's application and participation history affect its subsequent application success and programme tenure.

Suggested Citation

  • D. Ribar & Christopher A. Swann, 2014. "If at first you don't succeed: applying for and staying on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(27), pages 3339-3350, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:46:y:2014:i:27:p:3339-3350 DOI: 10.1080/00036846.2014.929623
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Heckman, James & Singer, Burton, 1984. "A Method for Minimizing the Impact of Distributional Assumptions in Econometric Models for Duration Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 271-320, March.
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    3. Maria J. Hanratty, 2006. "Has the Food Stamp program become more accessible? Impacts of recent changes in reporting requirements and asset eligibility limits," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(3), pages 603-621.
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    6. Sonya Kostova Huffman & Helen Jensen, 2005. "Linkages among welfare, food assistance programmes and labour supply: evidence from the survey of programme dynamics," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(10), pages 1099-1113.
    7. Wilde, Parke E. & Cook, Peggy & Gundersen, Craig & Nord, Mark & Tiehen, Laura, 2000. "The Decline In Food Stamp Program Participation In The 1990'S," Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Reports 33793, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
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    9. George Davis & Wen You, 2010. "The time cost of food at home: general and food stamp participant profiles," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(20), pages 2537-2552.
    10. Beth Osborne Daponte & Seth Sanders & Lowell Taylor, 1999. "Why Do Low-Income Households not Use Food Stamps? Evidence from an Experiment," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(3), pages 612-628.
    11. David C. Ribar & Marilyn Edelhoch & Qiduan Liu, 2008. "Watching the Clocks: The Role of Food Stamp Recertification and TANF Time Limits in Caseload Dynamics," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(1).
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

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