Journal Article

Revisiting the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program cycle of food intake: Investigating heterogeneity, diet quality, and a large boost in benefit amounts

Jessica E. Todd

in Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy

Published on behalf of Agricultural and Applied Economics Association

Volume 37, issue 3, pages 437-458
Published in print September 2015 | ISSN: 2040-5790
Published online November 2014 | e-ISSN: 2040-5804 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aepp/ppu039
Revisiting the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program cycle of food intake: Investigating heterogeneity, diet quality, and a large boost in benefit amounts

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  • Welfare and Poverty
  • Macroeconomics: Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment
  • Household Behaviour and Family Economics

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The monthly cycle of daily food intake among adult participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is examined using data from the 2007–10 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Exogenous variation in interview and benefit receipt dates provides means for identification, and a difference-in-differences specification is used to account for the large boost in benefits that began in April 2009 via the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Caloric intake declined as much as 25% at the end of the month prior to ARRA, but not after implementation. Few differences were observed for diet quality measures or among subgroups. Increases in SNAP benefit amounts may help smooth food intake over the benefit month.

Keywords: SNAP cycle; Adults; Caloric intake; Diet quality; ARRA; NHANES; D12; E21; I38

Journal Article.  9460 words. 

Subjects: Welfare and Poverty ; Macroeconomics: Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment ; Household Behaviour and Family Economics

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