Another Saturday Night: Food Stamp Timing and Monthly Consumption Patterns

27 Pages Posted: 10 Feb 2016

See all articles by Elena Castellari

Elena Castellari

University of Connecticut - Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics; Catholic University of Milan

Chad D. Cotti

University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh; University of Connecticut - Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics

John M. Gordanier

University of South Carolina

Orgul D. Ozturk

University of South Carolina - Moore School of Business - Department of Economics

Date Written: February 8, 2016

Abstract

In this paper we examine the relationship between the timing of food stamp receipt and consumption patterns. We combine data on state distribution dates of food stamps with scanner data on a panel of households purchases tracked between 2004 and 2011. We find that purchases of a variety of goods are meaningfully higher on receipt days, suggesting that recipients are very impatient. Additionally, and importantly, estimates indicate that when food stamp receipt days fall on weekends, total monthly consumption within the same households is affected. In particular, monthly purchases of beer are higher when food stamps are distributed on weekend rather than in months where benefits are distributed on weekdays. For these households, total beer purchases are between 4 and 5 percent higher in those months. Among households ineligible for food stamps, no effect is identified.

Keywords: SNAP Benefits, Food Stamps, EBT, Impatience

JEL Classification: I1, I38, H75, D91

Suggested Citation

Castellari, Elena and Cotti, Chad D. and Gordanier, John M. and Ozturk, Orgul D., Another Saturday Night: Food Stamp Timing and Monthly Consumption Patterns (February 8, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2729479 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2729479

Elena Castellari

University of Connecticut - Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics ( email )

Catholic University of Milan ( email )

1 Largo A. Gemelli
Milano (Milan), MI Milano 20123
Italy

Chad D. Cotti (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh ( email )

800 Algoma Blvd
Oshkosh, WI WI 54901
United States

University of Connecticut - Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics ( email )

1376 Storrs Road, Unit 4066
Storrs, CT 06269
United States
9202034660 (Phone)

John M. Gordanier

University of South Carolina ( email )

701 Main Street
Columbia, SC 29208
United States

Orgul D. Ozturk

University of South Carolina - Moore School of Business - Department of Economics ( email )

The Francis M. Hipp Building
1705 College Street
Columbia, SC 29208
United States

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