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Within and Across County Variation in SNAP Misreporting: Evidence from Linked ACS and Administrative Records

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  • Benjamin Cerf Harris

Abstract

This paper examines sub-state spatial and temporal variation in misreporting of participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) using several years of the American Community Survey linked to SNAP administrative records from New York (2008-2010) and Texas (2006-2009). I calculate county false-negative (FN) and false-positive (FP) rates for each year of observation and find that, within a given state and year, there is substantial heterogeneity in FN rates across counties. In addition, I find evidence that FN rates (but not FP rates) persist over time within counties. This persistence in FN rates is strongest among more populous counties, suggesting that when noise from sampling variation is not an issue, some counties have consistently high FN rates while others have consistently low FN rates. This finding is important for understanding how misreporting might bias estimates of sub-state SNAP participation rates, changes in those participation rates, and effects of program participation. This presentation was given at the CARRA Seminar, June 27, 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Benjamin Cerf Harris, 2014. "Within and Across County Variation in SNAP Misreporting: Evidence from Linked ACS and Administrative Records," CARRA Working Papers 2014-05, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Handle: RePEc:cen:cpaper:2014-05
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Martin H. David & Christopher R. Bollinger, 2005. "I didn't tell, and I won't tell: dynamic response error in the SIPP," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(4), pages 563-569.
    2. Javdani Mohsen, 2015. "Noise or News? Learning about the Content of Test-Based School Achievement Measures," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 15(3), pages 1417-1453, July.
    3. Nikolas Mittag, 2013. "A Method Of Correcting For Misreporting Applied To The Food Stamp Program," Working Papers 13-28, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
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    Cited by:

    1. Meyer, Bruce D. & Mittag, Nikolas, 2017. "Using Linked Survey and Administrative Data to Better Measure Income: Implications for Poverty, Program Effectiveness and Holes in the Safety Net," IZA Discussion Papers 10943, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Mittag, Nikolas, 2016. "Correcting for Misreporting of Government Benefits," IZA Discussion Papers 10266, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Bruce Meyer & Nikolas Mittag, 2017. "Using Linked Survey and Administrative Data to Better Measure Income: Implications for Poverty, Program Effectiveness and Holes in the Safety Net," Working Papers 2017-075, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    4. Meyer, Bruce D. & Mittag, Nikolas, 2018. "Misreporting of Government Transfers: How Important Are Survey Design and Geography?," IZA Discussion Papers 12038, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. John L. Czajka & Karen Cunnyngham & Randy Rosso, "undated". "Simulated Versus Actual SNAP Unit Composition in Survey Households in Two States," Mathematica Policy Research Reports e5c1079d08424fb195d0b5262, Mathematica Policy Research.

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    Keywords

    misreporting; SNAP;

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