CitationValizadeh, 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.
AbstractFor 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.
Reference TypeJournal Article
Journal TitleApplied Economic Perspectives and Policy
Smith, Travis A.
Ver Ploeg, Michele