Who Benefits Most from Snap? A Study of Food Security and Food Spending
35 Pages Posted: 27 Dec 2016 Last revised: 17 Jan 2017
Date Written: December 2016
We study the effects of SNAP participation on food insecurity and food spending using finite mixture models that allow for a priori unspecified heterogeneous effects. We identify a low food security subgroup comprising a third of the population for whom SNAP participation increases the probability of high food security by 20-30 percentage points. There is no affect of SNAP on the remaining two-thirds of the population. SNAP increases food spending in the previous week by $50-$65 for a low modal spending subgroup comprising two-thirds of the population, with no effect for the remaining third of the population.
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