Food Stamp Participation Among Adult-Only Households

Upjohn Institute Working Paper No. 09-159

47 Pages Posted: 17 Oct 2009 Last revised: 16 Jun 2015

See all articles by David Ribar

David Ribar

George Washington University - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Marilyn Edelhoch

South Carolina Department of Social Services - Division of Family Assistance

Qiduan Liu

University of South Carolina - Institute for Families in Society

Date Written: September 1, 2009

Abstract

Several recent changes in the Food Stamp Program have been directed toward households without children. Some, including new work requirements for able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs), were intended to promote self-sufficiency, while others, including easier application and recertification procedures, were intended to increase participation among underserved groups, such as the disabled and the elderly. Despite their relevance to policymakers, adult-only households have been examined by only a few studies. We use administrative records from South Carolina and event-history methods to investigate how spells of food stamp participation for adult-only households vary with ABAWD provisions, recertification intervals, economic conditions and other characteristics. We find that households that were subject to ABAWD policies had shorter spells and lower rates of food stamp participation than other households. We also find that households were much more likely to leave the Food Stamp Program at recertification dates than at other dates. Compared to married households, exit rates were lower for households in high unemployment areas, for female- and black-headed households, for individuals with less education, and for never-married households. We further find that the time limit was associated with exits with and without earnings, suggesting that this policy increased self-sufficiency for some households but left others without support.

Keywords: Food stamps, hazard models, time limits, recertification

JEL Classification: I3, J2

Suggested Citation

Ribar, David C. and Edelhoch, Marilyn and Liu, Qiduan, Food Stamp Participation Among Adult-Only Households (September 1, 2009). Upjohn Institute Working Paper No. 09-159. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1490080 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1490080

David C. Ribar (Contact Author)

George Washington University - Department of Economics ( email )

Monroe Hall, Suite 340
2115 G Street, NW
Washington, DC 20052 20052
United States
202-994-7608 (Phone)
202-994-6147 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Marilyn Edelhoch

South Carolina Department of Social Services - Division of Family Assistance ( email )

1535 Confederate Avenue
Columbia, SC 29202
United States

Qiduan Liu

University of South Carolina - Institute for Families in Society ( email )

1600 Hampton Street, Suite 507
Columbia, SC 29208
United States

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