The Effect of SNAP on the Composition of Purchased Foods: Evidence and Implications
50 Pages Posted: 18 Jun 2019
Date Written: June 10, 2019
We use detailed data from a large retail panel to study the effect of participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) on the composition and nutrient content of foods purchased for at-home consumption. We find that the effect of SNAP participation is small relative to the cross-sectional variation in most of the outcomes we consider. Estimates from a model relating the composition of a household’s food purchases to the household’s current level of food spending imply that closing the gap in food spending between high- and low-SES households would not close the gap in summary measures of food healthfulness.
Keywords: SNAP, nutrition, diet
JEL Classification: D12, H31, I12, I38
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation