How Much Does SNAP Reduce Food Insecurity?

American Journal Of Agricultural Economics Vol. 93 No. 4 2011

32 Pages Posted: 23 Jan 2013 Last revised: 25 Apr 2015

See all articles by Caroline E. Ratcliffe

Caroline E. Ratcliffe

The Urban Institute - Labor and Social Policy Center

Signe-Mary McKernan

The Urban Institute - Center on Labor, Human Services and Population

Date Written: March 1, 2010

Abstract

Nearly 15 percent of all households and 39 percent of near-poor households were food insecure in 2008. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly called the Food Stamp Program) is the cornerstone of federal food assistance programs and serves as the first line of defense against food-related hardship. Using SIPP data, this paper measures SNAP’s effectiveness in reducing food insecurity using an instrumental variables approach to control for selection bias. Our results suggest that SNAP receipt reduces the likelihood of being food insecure by roughly 30 percent and reduces the likelihood of being very food insecure by 20 percent.

Keywords: Children and Youth, Families and Parenting, Poverty and Safety Net, food stamps, SNAP, food insecure, food insufficient, instrumental variables, selection bias

Suggested Citation

Ratcliffe, Caroline E. and McKernan, Signe-Mary, How Much Does SNAP Reduce Food Insecurity? (March 1, 2010). American Journal Of Agricultural Economics Vol. 93 No. 4 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2205774

Caroline E. Ratcliffe

The Urban Institute - Labor and Social Policy Center ( email )

2100 M Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037
United States
202-261-5548 (Phone)
202-463-8522 (Fax)

Signe-Mary McKernan (Contact Author)

The Urban Institute - Center on Labor, Human Services and Population ( email )

United States

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