The Effect of Snap Benefits for Food Insecurity

36 Pages Posted: 19 Jan 2016

See all articles by David E. Davis

David E. Davis

South Dakota State University - Department of Economics

Rui Huang

University of Connecticut

Date Written: December 31, 2015

Abstract

This paper investigates the effect of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits for food insecurity. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) temporarily increased SNAP benefits. We use that increase as a natural experiment to identify the causal effect of endogenous SNAP benefits. We estimate models of food insecurity with linear two-stage least squares and non-linear instrumental variable (IV) probit. Results suggest that a per person SNAP dollar decreases food insecurity by 0.4% to 0.9%. However, effects are nonlinear. The probability of food insecurity is highest, and marginal effects are largest, when benefit amounts are small.

Keywords: SNAP, Food Security, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

JEL Classification: I18, Q18 D12, H51

Suggested Citation

Davis, David E. and Huang, Rui, The Effect of Snap Benefits for Food Insecurity (December 31, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2713890 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2713890

David E. Davis (Contact Author)

South Dakota State University - Department of Economics ( email )

Brookings, SD 57007-0895
United States

HOME PAGE: http://sdstate.edu/econ/faculty/david-davis/index.cfm

Rui Huang

University of Connecticut ( email )

Storrs, CT 06269-1063
United States

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