Did the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Increase in SNAP Benefits Reduce the Impact of Food Deserts?
Public policy discussion of the problem of food deserts has concentrated on proximity to retail food stores providing nutritious, affordable foods. Because they offer a wide array of healthful products at lower prices, physical access to a supermarket or supercenter has come to be the standard of adequacy. Less attention has been given to how economic incentives influence access to retail food stores in the wider food environment. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) enacted a sizable increase in SNAP benefits effective April 2009. Though the primary purpose of the increase was to stimulate the economy, we argue that it had a secondary effect of encouraging SNAP participants to redeem more of their benefits at larger, lower-priced retailers. To investigate the effect of this policy change, we use county-level, administrative data on SNAP redemptions at different types of authorized food stores from May 2007 to May 2010. Data from the Economic Research Service’s Food Desert Locator are used to classify counties according to the percent of their population residing in food deserts. Results show that the SNAP benefit increase is associated with a greater percentage of redemptions at superstores. Estimates are stable across a number of specifications that also control for gas prices and store-type density. Within our sample of counties, we show that an $80 maximum SNAP benefit increased the percentage of benefits redeemed at supermarkets by 1.4 percentage points. In order to achieve a similar increase in redemptions at superstores, store density would have to increase from one superstore every 24 square miles to 1 superstore every 15 square miles. Impacts of the benefit increase were positive, but somewhat smaller in areas with more of their population residing in food deserts.
|Date of creation:||2012|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 555 East Wells Street, Suite 1100, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202|
Phone: (414) 918-3190
Fax: (414) 276-3349
Web page: http://www.aaea.org
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Ver Ploeg, Michele & Nulph, David & Williams, Ryan Blake, 2011. "Mapping Food Deserts in the U.S," Amber Waves, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, December.
- Peter M. Feather, 2003. "Valuing Food Store Access: Policy Implications for the Food Stamp Program," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(1), pages 162-172.
- Leibtag, Ephraim S., 2006. "The Impact Of Big-Box Stores On Retail Food Prices And The Consumer Price Index," Economic Research Report 7238, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
- Jerry Hausman & Ephraim Leibtag, 2007.
"Consumer benefits from increased competition in shopping outlets: Measuring the effect of Wal-Mart,"
Journal of Applied Econometrics,
John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(7), pages 1157-1177.
- Jerry Hausman & Ephraim Leibtag, 2005. "Consumer Benefits from Increased Competition in Shopping Outlets: Measuring the Effect of Wal-Mart," NBER Working Papers 11809, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Jerry Hausman & Ephraim Leibtag, 2006. "Consumer Benefits from Increased Competition in Shopping Outlets: Measuring the Effect of Wal-Mart," CeMMAP working papers CWP06/06, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
- Dora Gicheva & Justine Hastings & Sofia Villas-Boas, 2010. "Investigating Income Effects in Scanner Data: Do Gasoline Prices Affect Grocery Purchases?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 480-484, May.
- Susan Chen & Raymond J.G.M. Florax & Samantha Snyder, 2009. "Does Where You Live Make You Fat? Obesity and Access to Chain Grocers," Working Papers 09-11, Purdue University, College of Agriculture, Department of Agricultural Economics.
- repec:mpr:mprres:2615 is not listed on IDEAS
- Neil Wrigley & Daniel Warm & Barrie Margetts, 2003. "Deprivation, diet, and food-retail access: findings from the Leeds 'food deserts' study," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 35(1), pages 151-188, January.
- James X. Sullivan, 2006. "Welfare Reform, Saving, and Vehicle Ownership: Do Asset Limits and Vehicle Exemptions Matter?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(1).
- James X. Sullivan, 2005. "Welfare Reform, Saving, and Vehicle Ownership: Do Asset Limits and Vehicle Exemptions Matter?," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 05-117, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
- Christian Broda & Ephraim Leibtag & David E. Weinstein, 2009. "The Role of Prices in Measuring the Poor's Living Standards," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(2), pages 77-97, Spring. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:aaeafe:123520. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.