Project: The Impacts of Welfare Reform and the Macroeconomy on Food Stamp Caseloads and Expenditures
Award Year: 2001
Amount of award, fiscal 1998: $75,000.00 fiscal 2001: $39,393.00 fiscal 2000: $15,000.00
Institution: University of Oregon
Principal Investigator: James Ziliak
Status: Completed
Detailed Objective: This project addresses the following questions about food stamp caseloads and expenditures:
  • How cyclically sensitive are food stamp caseloads and expenditures to changes in local labor market conditions?
  • How do State-specific differences in pre- and post-Aid to Families with Dependent Children and Food Stamp Program parameters affect food stamp caseloads and expenditures?
  • Are there interactive effects between the business cycle and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program parameters on food stamp caseloads and expenditures?

To address these questions, the project will employ the multivariate methodology developed in previous work by the cooperators in which they studied the responsiveness of State-specific AFDC caseloads to business-cycle conditions and pre-TANF welfare waivers. The data will come from four sources: (1) food stamp caseloads, expenditures, and program changes from the Food and Nutrition Service; (2) labor-market indicators reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; (3) data on State population from the U.S. Census Bureau; and (4) welfare waivers granted under AFDC and TANF program parameters from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The results of this work will enhance the U.S. Department of Agriculture's understanding of the determinants of changes in food stamp caseload and expenditures, and enhance the target efficiency in forecasting food stamp caseloads and expenditures over the business cycle in response to the Federal overhaul of the U.S. transfer system.

A cooperative research agreement was awarded to the University of Oregon for $75,000 in fiscal 1998. An extension to the project was made in fiscal 2000 at a cost of $15,000. An amendment of $39,393 was made in fiscal 2001 to study of the ability of households to smooth consumption with the use of food stamps and how this may have changed after welfare reform. The research is expected to be completed by September 2003.

Topic: Macroeconomic Conditions, SNAP/Food Stamp Program, Welfare Reform
Figlio, D., C. Gundersen, and J. Ziliak. "The Effects of the Macroeconomy and Welfare Reform on Food Stamp Caseloads," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Vol. 82, No. 3, August 2000.
Gundersen, C., and J. Ziliak. "Poverty and Macroeconomic Performance Across Space, Race and Family Structure," Demography, Vol. 41, No. 1, February 2004.
Ziliak, J., C. Gundersen, and D. Figlio. "Food Stamp Caseloads Over the Business Cycle," Southern Economic Journal, Vol. 69, No. 4, April 2003.