Evan Soltas
Jun 2, 2015

SNAP and Food Security

"SNAP and Food Security: Evidence from Terminations" is the title of my first-ever working paper, which I wrote for my junior-year independent work at Princeton. What I do in the paper is try to measure very carefully the effect of participating in SNAP on households' food security, and the basic idea of how I do that is pretty simple:

[C]onsider two similar groups of households. The first group receives SNAP benefits in both November and December of a given year. The second group receives SNAP benefits in November but not in December. The difference in December food security between the two groups provides an intuitive estimate of the effect of SNAP benefits on food security in December.
 With that kind of comparison in mind, here's what I find:
SNAP participation increases the probability of food security by 10 percentage points (22 percent), with gains concentrated in reducing the probability of extreme food insecurity by 8 percentage points (36 percent), an effect that is broadly comparable to that of a change in household income from $10,000 to $20,000.
Naturally, there's a whole lot more in the paper itself.