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Snapping Back: Food Stamp Bans and Criminal Recidivism

Cody Tuttle

American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 2019, vol. 11, issue 2, 301-27

Abstract: I estimate the effect of access to food stamps on criminal recidivism. In 1996, a federal welfare reform imposed a lifetime ban from food stamps on convicted drug felons. Florida modified this ban, restricting it to drug traffickers who commit their offense on or after August 23, 1996. I exploit this sharp cutoff in a regression discontinuity design and find that the ban increases recidivism among drug traffickers. The increase is driven by financially motivated crimes, suggesting that the cut in benefits causes ex-convicts to return to crime to make up for the lost transfer income.

JEL-codes: H75 I38 K42 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.20170490
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