EARL - S. Young  Add To Calendar

  • Dates: 24 – 24 Oct, 2018
Econ Active Research Lunch - Lunch @ 11:30am, Presentation @ 12L00pm in UH850

Presenter: Sabrina Young

“The Impact of a SNAP Benefit Dollar on Food Insecurity: A Regression Kink Analysis”
Despite improvements in recent decades, food insecurity continues to be a major problem in the United States. Food insecurity is an economic determinant of health and is interlinked with other social determinants, such as income, education, housing, health care access, and race/ethnicity. Additionally, food insecurity is associated with physical and mental health outcomes, particularly in children. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a federal program provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and administered by states, with the goal of alleviating food insecurity in low-income households. Previous research on the causal effects of SNAP has found that participation in SNAP reduces food insecurity, but little work has investigated the dose-response effect of a SNAP dollar. The objective of this research is to estimate the effect of a SNAP dollar on food insecurity among recipient households. Using data from the National Household Food Acquisition and Purchase Survey (FoodAPS), I exploit SNAP’s maximum threshold using a fuzzy regression kink design with net income (gross income less household expenses) as an instrument. Contributions to existing SNAP and food insecurity research are the threefold. Firstly, this study is among a small but growing literature on the causal effects of the amount of SNAP benefit received by households. This paper is the first to use net income to estimate the impact of SNAP benefit amount on food insecurity. Secondly, to my knowledge, this paper is the first to use the novel approach of RKD to evaluate SNAP benefits. Further, this research has the potential to inform the design of federal nutrition assistance policy affecting households disproportionately at risk for food insecurity and at a social disadvantage for health