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It's a cruel summer: Household responses to reductions in government nutrition assistance

Lorenzo Almada and Ian McCarthy

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2017, vol. 143, issue C, 45-57

Abstract: The appropriate size and scope of government nutrition assistance programs is a regular source of debate among policy-makers, and with calls to reduce government benefits, a clear understanding of household responses to any proposed benefit reduction is critical. Exploiting the design of U.S. nutrition assistance programs, we examine how low-income households reallocate their budgets following an exogenous reduction in nutrition assistance benefits. The magnitude of our results suggests that the budget for an average low-income household with children is severely inflexible and likely unable to absorb more than a $2 to $3 reduction in nutrition benefits per child per week.

Keywords: Food expenditures; Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program; Food stamps; National School Lunch Program; School Breakfast Program (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2017.08.009

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Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization is currently edited by Houser, D. and Puzzello, D.

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:143:y:2017:i:c:p:45-57