Participation in Social Programs by Consumers and Companies: A Nationwide Analysis of Participation Rates for Telephone Lifeline Programs

Public Finance Review, Vol. 35, No. 5, pp. 606-625

36 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2007 Last revised: 20 Dec 2008

See all articles by Janice Alane Hauge

Janice Alane Hauge

University of North Texas

Mark A Jamison

University of Florida - Warrington College of Business Administration, Public Utility Research Center

R. Todd Jewell

Texas State University, San Marcos - Department of Finance and Economics

Date Written: 2007

Abstract

We examine a unique public assistance program, the Lifeline Program, to consider why people do not participate in a program that provides them with financial benefits. Lifeline is a nationwide program created by the Federal Communications Commission to provide price discounts to low-income telephone subscribers. Recently there has been concern that program participation rates are low and that there is great variation in participation across states. Using state-level panel data, we consider reasons Lifeline participation varies among states and why only approximately one third of eligible households nationwide enroll in the program. We find that participation is actually closely aligned with what is predicted given state characteristics when we control for socio-economic and demographic characteristics. We also find that in addition to the demographic factors affecting participation, telecommunications companies appear to affect Lifeline participation rates.

Suggested Citation

Hauge, Janice Alane and Jamison, Mark A. and Jewell, R. Todd Todd, Participation in Social Programs by Consumers and Companies: A Nationwide Analysis of Participation Rates for Telephone Lifeline Programs (2007). Public Finance Review, Vol. 35, No. 5, pp. 606-625 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=960768 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.960768

Janice Alane Hauge

University of North Texas ( email )

1155 Union Circle #305340
Denton, TX 76203
United States
940-565-4544 (Phone)

Mark A. Jamison (Contact Author)

University of Florida - Warrington College of Business Administration, Public Utility Research Center ( email )

PO Box 117142
Gainesville, FL 32611
United States
352-392-6148 (Phone)
352-392-7796 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://warrington.ufl.edu/purc/facultyinfo.asp?WEBID=1217

R. Todd Todd Jewell

Texas State University, San Marcos - Department of Finance and Economics ( email )

San Marcos, TX 78666
United States

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