Project: How are State Food Stamp and TANF Policy Choices Affecting Food Stamp Participation
Award Year: 2004
Amount of award, fiscal 2004: $99,999.00
Institution: The Urban Institute
Principal Investigator: Caroline Ratcliffe
Status: Completed
Detailed Objective: Food stamps are a critical component of low-income families' monthly resources, increasing the chances for such families to financially meet basic needs. The effectiveness of the Food Stamp Program depends on the extent to which persons eligible for the program take up the benefits to which they are entitled. Food Stamp Program participation rates fell sharply in the mid- to late-1990s. In response to falling participation rates, many States re-engineered their programs to improve accessibility. However, States are making policy decisions without the benefit of knowing how different policies affect decisions to participate in the Food Stamp Program.

This study will examine how Food Stamp Program and welfare policies affect the decision to participate in the Food Stamp Program. A special dataset quantifying Food Stamp Program policies at the state-level will be developed to describe the policies that states have implemented from 1996 through 2003. Logit and fixed-effect logit models will be estimated to measure the effects of Food Stamp Program policies, welfare policies, and economic and demographic characteristics on Food Stamp Program participation using data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), the Urban Institute's Welfare Rules and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program typologies databases, and the newly developed Food Stamp Program policy database.

Topic: Program Operations, SNAP/Food Stamp Program
Dataset: Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP)
Ratcliffe, C., S-M. McKernan, and K. Finegold. Effect of State Food Stamp and TANF Policies on Food Stamp Program Participation, Contractor and Cooperator Report No. 36, USDA, ERS, January 2008.
Ratcliffe, C., S-M. McKernan, and K. Finegold. “Effects of Food Stamp and TANF Policies on Food Stamp Receipt,” Social Service Review, Vol. 82, No. 2, June 2008.