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Do SNAP Households Pay Different Prices throughout the Benefit Month?

Citation

Valizadeh, Pourya; Smith, Travis A.; & Ver Ploeg, Michele (2021). Do SNAP Households Pay Different Prices throughout the Benefit Month?. Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, 43(3), 1051-1075.

Abstract

For households participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), food expenditures spike upon benefit arrival. We show the price component of expenditure is sensitive to benefit arrival: by the beginning of the fourth week of the benefit month, households pay 20% less on food items. This decline is not induced by changes in shopping behaviors (usage of SNAP, bulk purchases, on-sale, branded, and discount stores) but rather concentrated among a subset of households with financial constraints and/or a preference for higher-quality foods. Increased benefit adequacy and/or financial stability for participants could help households smooth their purchasing power.

URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/aepp.13094

Reference Type

Journal Article

Article Type

Regular

Year Published

2021

Journal Title

Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy

Author(s)

Valizadeh, Pourya
Smith, Travis A.
Ver Ploeg, Michele

Continent/Country

United States of America

State

Nonspecific