Understanding SNAP: An overview of recent research

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The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides benefits to purchase groceries to low-income Americans. It has substantial reach, providing benefits to about 1 out of every 8 Americans. This article outlines many of the important economic questions related to SNAP and highlights the difficulty in separating correlation and causation in estimating impacts of the program. It introduces a virtual special collection of selected scholarship on SNAP published in Elsevier journals such as Food Policy, the Journal of Public Economics, and others. The studies have substantially improved our understanding of the impacts of SNAP across a range of topics, from participation decisions and work incentives to impacts on dietary quality, food security and health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102397
JournalFood Policy
StatePublished - Jan 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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