Work incentives and the Food Stamp Program

Hilary Williamson Hoynes*, Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

46 Scopus citations

Abstract

Labor supply theory makes strong predictions about how the introduction or expansion of a social welfare program impacts work effort. Although there is a large literature on the work incentive effects of AFDC and the EITC, relatively little is known about the work incentive effects of the Food Stamp Program and none of the existing literature is based on quasi-experimental methods. We use the cross-county introduction of the program in the 1960s and 1970s to estimate the impact of the program on the extensive and intensive margins of labor supply, earnings, and family cash income. Consistent with theory, we find reductions in employment and hours worked when food stamps are introduced. The reductions are concentrated among families headed by single woman.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-162
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Public Economics
Volume96
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2012

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Keywords

  • Labor supply
  • Welfare policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics

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