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The effects of cashing-out food stomps on household food use and the cost of issuing benefits

Listed author(s):
  • Thomas M. Fraker

    (Senior Economist, Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., Washington)

  • Alberto P. Martini

    (Senior Research Associate, The Urban Institute, Washington)

  • James C. Ohls

    (Senior Fellow, Mathemalica Policy Research, Inc., Princeton)

  • Michael Ponza

    (Senior Economist, Mathematica Policy Research. Inc., Princeton)

The recent report produced by Vice President Gore's committee on government efficiency highlights the importance of streamlining government operations. But often there are trade-offs between administrative streamlining and accomplishing substantive program objectives. This article examines these tradeoffs in the context of the Food Stamp Program, an important component of the United States' safety net for providing low-income assistance. We estimate impacts on both administrative costs and substantive outcomes (participant food expenditures) resulting from issuing program benefits in the form of checks rather than the usual food coupons. The findings, which are based on experimental tests of the cashout approach in parts of Alabama and California, suggest that significant cost savings can be attained through cashout but that these savings may be achieved at the cost of weakening the program's ability to achieve its substantive objective of encouraging food use.

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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.

Volume (Year): 14 (1995)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 372-392

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Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:14:y:1995:i:3:p:372-392
DOI: 10.2307/3325031
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References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

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  1. Thomas M. Fraker & Alberto P. Martini & James C. Ohls & Michael Ponza & Elizabeth A. Quinn, 1992. "The Evaluation of the Alabama Food Stamp Cash-Out Demonstration Vol. 1: Recipient Impacts," Mathematica Policy Research Reports bc4fe28e4d704a8a84e7adf0b, Mathematica Policy Research.
  2. repec:mpr:mprres:1206 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Jim C. Ohls & Thomas M. Fraker & Alberto P. Martini & Michael Ponza, "undated". "The Effects of Cash-Out on Food Use by Food Stamp Program Participants in San Diego," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 62ecaa3a96a04e7cb320b27f0, Mathematica Policy Research.
  4. J. S. Butler & James C. Ohls & Barbara Posner, 1985. "The Effect of the Food Stamp Program on the Nutrient Intake of the Eligible Elderly," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 20(3), pages 405-420.
  5. repec:mpr:mprres:1253 is not listed on IDEAS
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