Food Stamp Program and Consumption Choices
36 Pages Posted: 26 May 2009 Last revised: 17 May 2010
Date Written: May 2009
We study the effect of the Food Stamp Program (FSP) on consumption patterns in families headed by low-educated single mothers in the U.S. using the Consumer Expenditure Surveys for 1994-2004. Our analysis suggests that the food stamp caseload does not have any statistically significant association with per capita expenditure on food in families headed by low-educated single mothers. We find that state and federal welfare reforms during the 1990s lowered the food stamp caseload by approximately 18 percent and the introduction of the Electronic Benefit Transfer cards and simplified reporting procedures for recertification of food stamps increased participation by about seven percent. However, we do not find any evidence that these policies had any effect on total food expenditure, nor do we find any consistent evidence that the policies affected expenditures on specific food items.
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