Food Stamp Program and Consumption Choices

36 Pages Posted: 26 May 2009 Last revised: 17 May 2010

See all articles by Neeraj Kaushal

Neeraj Kaushal

Columbia University - School of Social Work; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Qin Gao

Fordham University

Date Written: May 2009

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

Kaushal, Neeraj and Gao, Qin, Food Stamp Program and Consumption Choices (May 2009). NBER Working Paper No. w14988, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1408908

Neeraj Kaushal (Contact Author)

Columbia University - School of Social Work ( email )

622 W. 113th Street
New York, NY 10025
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Qin Gao

Fordham University ( email )

113 West 60th Street
New York, NY 10023
United States

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