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The Real Effect of SNAP Benefits for Food Insecurity

David Davis () and Rui Huang
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Rui Huang: Bates White LLC

No 13001, SDSU Working Papers in Progress from South Dakota State University, Department of Economics

Abstract: This research investigates the effect of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp program) for food insecurity. SNAP provides benefits to qualifying households for purchasing food. Some have suggested that SNAP benefits may be less effective in some areas because of geographic differences in food prices (Leibtag, 2007; Nord and Hopwood, 2007). We include food prices in our analysis to control for price differences. We find that holding food prices constant, an additional SNAP dollar per-capita reduces the probability of food insecurity by about 0.5 percent. However, we find that marginal effects vary with the level of benefit received and that marginal effects are largest at low benefit levels. Furthermore, we find that even though household incomes are higher when benefits are low, the probability of food insecurity is larger than when benefits are higher. Higher food prices decrease the purchasing power of SNAP benefits, reducing food security.

Keywords: SNAP; food assistance; food prices (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: L11 L13 I18 D12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 38 pages
Date: 2013-09
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http://repec-sda.sdstate.edu/repec/sda/pdf/The_Rea ... Stamp_Benefits_e.pdf First version, 2013 (application/pdf)
http://repec-sda.sdstate.edu/repec/sda/pdf/TheRealEffectofFoodStampBenefits.pdf Revised 2nd version, 2014 (application/pdf)

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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:sda:workpa:13001

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