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How Did The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Affect the Material Well‐Being of SNAP Participants? A Distributional Approach

Pourya Valizadeh and Travis A Smith

Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, 2020, vol. 42, issue 3, 455-476

Abstract: Money‐metric welfare, or material well‐being, can be defined by household expenditure. We find that the 2009 ARRA benefit increase improved material well‐being at all expenditure levels, which is interpreted as a first‐order policy improvement. The adverse effects of the 2013 benefit cuts, however, were concentrated among the most disadvantaged SNAP subpopulations. These effects are almost entirely driven by changes in food rather than nonfood spending. The asymmetric shift in the distribution of well‐being speaks to the resource management skills and coping strategies among the low‐income households, especially the most disadvantaged, and calls for improved education on budgeting skills.

Date: 2020
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Handle: RePEc:wly:apecpp:v:42:y:2020:i:3:p:455-476