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Revisiting the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program cycle of food intake: Investigating heterogeneity, diet quality, and a large boost in benefit amounts

Jessica Todd ()

Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, 2015, vol. 37, issue 3, 437-458

Abstract: The monthly cycle of daily food intake among adult participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is examined using data from the 2007–10 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Exogenous variation in interview and benefit receipt dates provides means for identification, and a difference-in-differences specification is used to account for the large boost in benefits that began in April 2009 via the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Caloric intake declined as much as 25% at the end of the month prior to ARRA, but not after implementation. Few differences were observed for diet quality measures or among subgroups. Increases in SNAP benefit amounts may help smooth food intake over the benefit month.

Date: 2015
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Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy is currently edited by Timothy Park, Tomislav Vukina and Ian Sheldon

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