The Decline, Rebound, and Further Rise in Snap Enrollment: Disentangling Business Cycle Fluctuations and Policy Changes

47 Pages Posted: 14 Jun 2019 Last revised: 10 Jul 2019

See all articles by Becker Friedman RPS Institute

Becker Friedman RPS Institute

University of Chicago - Becker Friedman Institute for Economics

Peter Ganong

University of Chicago; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Jeffrey B. Liebman

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 7, 2017

Abstract

1-in-7 Americans received benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in 2011, an all-time high. We analyze changes in program enrollment over the past two decades, quantifying the contributions of unemployment and state policy changes. Using instrumental variables to address measurement error, we estimate that a one percentage point increase in unemployment raises enrollment by 15 percent. Unemployment explains most of the decrease in enrollment in the late 1990s, state policy changes explain more of the increase in enrollment in the early 2000s, and unemployment explains most of the increase in enrollment in the aftermath of the Great Recession.

Keywords: SNAP, Food Stamps, Great Recession, Unemployment

JEL Classification: E24, E62, H53, I38

Suggested Citation

RPS Submitter, Becker Friedman Institute for Economics and Ganong, Peter and Liebman, Jeffrey, The Decline, Rebound, and Further Rise in Snap Enrollment: Disentangling Business Cycle Fluctuations and Policy Changes (April 7, 2017). University of Chicago, Becker Friedman Institute for Economics Working Paper No. 2019-90, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3403670 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3403670

Becker Friedman Institute for Economics RPS Submitter (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Becker Friedman Institute for Economics

Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Peter Ganong

University of Chicago ( email )

1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Jeffrey Liebman

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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