SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM PARTICIPATION AND HEALTH: EVIDENCE FROM LOW-INCOME INDIVIDUALS IN TENNESSEE

Authors

  • STEVEN T. YEN,

    1. Yen: Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996. Phone 1-865-974-7231, Fax 1-865-974-7484, E-mail syen@utk.edu
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  • DONALD J. BRUCE,

    1. Bruce: Center for Business and Economic Research and Department of Economics, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996. Phone 1-865-974-6088, Fax 1-865-974-3100, E-mail dbruce@utk.edu
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  • LISA JAHNS

    1. Jahns: Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Grand Forks, ND 58202. Phone 1-701-795-8331, Fax 1-701-795-8240, E-mail lisa.jahns@ars.usda.gov
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    • Research for this paper was supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's 2007 Food and Nutrition Research Program through a grant from the 2007 Research Innovation and Development Grants in Economics (RIDGE) Program of the Southern Rural Development Center (SRDC) at Mississippi State University. The authors thank the Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) for permitting the use of the Family Assistance Longitudinal Study data and associated administrative data in our research, and Laura Ogle-Graham, Randy Gustafson, and Xiaowen Liu for research assistance. The views in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the USDA, TDHS, or SRDC.


Abstract

We investigate the factors that contribute to participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program) and the effects of such participation on self-assessed health (SAH). Our estimation approach consists of an endogenous switching ordered probability model, using the copula approach, for a sample of current and former Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients in Tennessee. Results indicate that sociodemographic characteristics play a role in SNAP participation. Interestingly, we find that participation in SNAP is inversely related to SAH. (JEL I12, I38, C31)

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