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The Impact of SNAP on Material Hardships: Evidence From Broad-Based Categorical Eligibility Expansions

Jeehoon Han ()
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Jeehoon Han: Department of Economics, University of Notre Dame, 434 Flanner Hall, Notre Dame, IN 46556, USA

Southern Economic Journal, 2016, vol. 83, issue 2, 464-486

Abstract: This article examines whether expanding Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) eligibility reduces material hardships of low-income households. During the Great Recession, many states expanded the income threshold of eligibility for SNAP. I show that expansions ineligibility increased the SNAP participation rate by 3–5 percentage points. I also find that the expansion leads to a modest decrease in nonfood hardships, such as rent and utility delinquencies. However, the increase in SNAP enrollment does not lead to greater food spending or a reduction in food insecurity except for households with children.

JEL-codes: I38 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:83:2:y:2016:p:464-486