How Much Does the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Reduce Food Insecurity?

American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Vol. 93, No. 4, 2011

Posted: 2 Feb 2013

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

Sisi Zhang

The Urban Institute

Date Written: July 1, 2011

Abstract

Nearly 15% of all U.S. households and 40% of near-poor households were food insecure in 2009. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the cornerstone of federal food assistance programs and serves as the first line of defense against food-related hardship. This paper measures the effectiveness of SNAP in reducing food insecurity using an instrumental variables approach to control for selection. Our results suggest that receipt of SNAP benefits reduces the likelihood of being food insecure by roughly 30% and reduces the likelihood of being very food insecure by 20%.

Suggested Citation

Ratcliffe, Caroline E. and McKernan, Signe-Mary and Zhang, Sisi, How Much Does the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Reduce Food Insecurity? (July 1, 2011). American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Vol. 93, No. 4, 2011 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2210483

Caroline E. Ratcliffe (Contact Author)

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

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

United States

Sisi Zhang

The Urban Institute ( email )

2100 M Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037
United States

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