Journal Article

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Dynamics and Employment Transitions: The Role of Employment Instability

James Mabli and James C. Ohls

in Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy

Published on behalf of Agricultural and Applied Economics Association

Volume 34, issue 1, pages 187-213
Published in print March 2012 | ISSN: 2040-5790
Published online January 2012 | e-ISSN: 2040-5804 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aepp/ppr045
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Dynamics and Employment Transitions: The Role of Employment Instability

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  • Mobility, Unemployment, and Vacancies

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Employment transitions have been shown to be an important predictor of the decision to either enter or exit the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). However, little is known about how the associations between losing a job and entering the program, or between obtaining a job and leaving the program differ by individuals' more long-term employment experiences. This article uses a sample from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, collected from 2001 to 2003, to examine how long-term instability in employment affects the association between employment transitions and the decision to enter and exit SNAP. Empirical models of program entry and exit are estimated for a full sample and for family subgroups of particular interest to program policy-makers. Our results provide evidence that employment changes are more strongly associated with program entry and exit for individuals who are less accustomed to experiencing fluctuations in employment than those who are more accustomed to experiencing these fluctuations.

Keywords: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program; Food Stamp Program; program dynamics; employment changes; job loss; I30; J60

Journal Article.  10130 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Welfare and Poverty ; Mobility, Unemployment, and Vacancies

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