IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Social Assistance Programs and Outcomes: Food Assistance in the Context of Welfare Reform


  • Huffman, Sonya K.
  • Jensen, Helen H.


Food assistance programs play an important role in meeting the basic needs of low-income households. We consider the complex interactions among food stamps, labor force participation, and food insecurity status of low-income households under different program designs and economic conditions. The analysis uses data from the Survey of Program Dynamics to jointly estimate the role of participation in the Food Stamp Program (FSP), labor market participation and well-being, measured as food security, through the use of a simultaneous equation model. The results of our research suggest that food insecurity has a positive effect on FSP participation while labor force participation reduces FSP participation. Furthermore, FSP participation is more responsive to changes in the program benefits than to changes in nonlabor income. The linkages among food program participation, labor force participation, and well-being, measured in terms of food insecurity, are complex. The structural approach provides evidence that, among low-income households, program parameters affect FSP participation but no evidence that the food assistance reduces food insecurity.

Suggested Citation

  • Huffman, Sonya K. & Jensen, Helen H., 2003. "Social Assistance Programs and Outcomes: Food Assistance in the Context of Welfare Reform," Staff General Research Papers Archive 10566, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:10566

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Fraker, Thomas & Moffitt, Robert, 1988. "The effect of food stamps on labor supply : A bivariate selection model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 25-56, February.
    2. Helen H. Jensen, 2002. "Food Insecurity and the Food Stamp Program," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1215-1228.
    3. Moffitt, Robert, 1983. "An Economic Model of Welfare Stigma," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 1023-1035, December.
    4. Craig Gundersen & Victor Oliveira, 2001. "The Food Stamp Program and Food Insufficiency," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 83(4), pages 875-887.
    5. Mallar, Charles D, 1977. "The Estimation of Simultaneous Probability Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(7), pages 1717-1722, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:isu:genres:10566. 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: (Curtis Balmer). General contact details of provider: .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.