Munich Personal RePEc Archive

SNAP Work Requirement and Food Insecurity

Das, Debasmita (2019): SNAP Work Requirement and Food Insecurity.

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In this paper, I examine the effect of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program(SNAP) work requirement reinstatement on food insecurity outcomes of able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs). The policy restricts SNAP benefits of ABAWDs to 3 months in a 36 months period if they are not working or participating in any work program for at least 20 hours a week. In the aftermath of the 2008 recession, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 waived work requirements nationwide, and many states reimplemented the work rule at different times beginning in 2011. I employ a difference-in-differences approach utilizing this cross-state variation in the reimplementation of the policy. Using rich information on food affordability and food intake behavior from the Food Security Supplement of the Current Population Survey (CPS-FSS), I find that promoting work for food assistance improved the overall food security status of ABAWDs by reducing disruptions in food intake, anxiety over food affordability and dependency on emergency food receipt. Subsample analyses indicate that effects are stronger for never married and less educated ABAWDs.

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