Employed in a SNAP? The Impact of Work Requirements on Program Participation and Labor Supply
85 Pages Posted: 10 Sep 2020 Last revised: 15 Sep 2020
Date Written: August 18, 2020
Work requirements are common in many U.S. safety net programs. Evidence remains limited, however, on the extent to which work requirements increase economic self-sufficiency or screen out vulnerable individuals. Using linked administrative data on food stamps (SNAP) and earnings with a regression discontinuity design, we find that work requirements reduce SNAP participation by 52 percent. Very low-income and homeless adults are disproportionately screened out. We statistically rule out employment increases of more than 2 percentage points. We find evidence of increased earnings near a key eligibility threshold, and provide conditions under which this trade-off is efficient.
Keywords: food stamps; work requirements; screening
JEL Classification: H53, I30, I38, J22
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation