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Watching the Clocks: The Role of Food Stamp Recertification and TANF Time Limits in Caseload Dynamics

  • David C. Ribar
  • Marilyn Edelhoch
  • Qiduan Liu

We use administrative data to examine how ‘‘clock’’ policies—program time limits and recurring deadlines for confirming eligibility—affected participation in South Carolina’s TANF and Food Stamp Programs from 1996-2003. South Carolina’s TANF program limits most families to two years of benefits in any ten-year period; so, recipients began exhausting their eligibility as early as 1998. The state’s Food Stamp Program sets regular recertification intervals that can be distinguished from other calendar effects and increased these intervals after October 2002. We find that the two-year time limit reduced TANF caseloads and that the longer recertification intervals increased food stamp caseloads.

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File URL: http://jhr.uwpress.org/cgi/reprint/43/1/208
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Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Journal of Human Resources.

Volume (Year): 43 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages:

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Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:43:y:2008:i:1:p208-239
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://jhr.uwpress.org/

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  1. M. Keane & R. Mofitt, 1995. "A Structural Model of Multiple Welfare Program Participation and Labor Supply," Working Papers 95-4, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  2. Jeff Grogger & Charles Michalopoulos, 1999. "Welfare Dynamics Under Time Limits," NBER Working Papers 7353, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. Caroline Danielson & Jacob Alex Klerman, 2006. "Why Did the Food Stamp Caseload Decline (and Rise)? Effects of Policies and the Economy," Working Papers 386, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
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