Who Benefits Most from SNAP? A Study of Food Security and Food Spending
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.
The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not represent the views of the Economic Research Service, the US Department of Agriculture, or National Bureau of Economic Research. The authors declare that they have no relevant or material financial interests that relate to the research described in this paper.