NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Who Benefits Most from SNAP? A Study of Food Security and Food Spending

Partha Deb, Christian A. Gregory

NBER Working Paper No. 22977
Issued in December 2016
NBER Program(s):Public Economics

We study the effects of SNAP participation on food insecurity and food spending using finite mixture models that allow for a priori unspecified heterogeneous effects. We identify a low food security subgroup comprising a third of the population for whom SNAP participation increases the probability of high food security by 20-30 percentage points. There is no affect of SNAP on the remaining two-thirds of the population. SNAP increases food spending in the previous week by $50-$65 for a low modal spending subgroup comprising two-thirds of the population, with no effect for the remaining third of the population.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w22977

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