Project: Food Sufficiency, the Role of Food Stamp Program Participation, Duration, and Policies
Award Year: 2007
Amount of award, fiscal 2007: $150,000.00
Institution: The Urban Institute
Principal Investigator: Signe-Mary McKernan
Status: Completed
Detailed Objective: This study will examine the extent to which Food Stamp Program (FSP) participation and duration of participation affect food sufficiency and food insecurity. Household level data from the 1996, 2001, and 2004 Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) panels will be used. The study population will include low-income households below 150 percent of the poverty threshold with low levels of assets. These data will be supplemented with State-level measures of FSP and cash assistance policy choices. Variation in these State-level policies (which include recertification periods, reporting requirements, asset rules, form of issuance, outreach activities, and biometric policies and practices) is key for identifying an empirical model that controls for selection bias. A descriptive analysis of food-related hardship measures, over time and for different subpopulations, will be conducted as a first step. Two measures of food-related hardship will be used: (1) a five-item food security scale developed by USDA and the Census Bureau, and (2) the single-item, four-part food sufficiency measure. Likewise a descriptive analysis of the State-level policy variables will be conducted. In the second step, multivariate analyses of the relationship between food insufficiency (insecurity) and FSP participation will be conducted. Two equation, dummy endogenous variable models with instrumental variables and fixed effects will be estimated using two-stage least squares. Predictions for the first-stage equation will be used to distinguish the causal effects of potentially endogenous FSP participation in the second-stage equation that relates food insufficiency to FSP participation. Effects of the duration of FSP participation will be investigated by using monthly FSP receipt reports to develop alternative measures of FSP participation duration. Data will be weighted to help account for potential biases from attrition, nonresponse, and complex sample design.
Topic: Food Security, Program Operations, SNAP/Food Stamp Program
Dataset: Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP)
Ratcliffe, C. and Signe-Mary McKernan. How Much Does Snap Reduce Food Insecurity?, Contractor and Cooperator Report No. 60, USDA, ERS, April 2010.
Ratcliffe, C., S-M. McKernan, and S. Zhang. “How Much Does the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Reduce Food Insecurity?,” American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Vol. 93, Issue 4, July 2011.