We use detailed data from a large retail panel to study the effect of participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) on the composition and nutrient content of foods purchased for at-home consumption. We find that the effect of SNAP participation is small relative to the cross-sectional variation in most of the outcomes we consider. Estimates from a model relating the composition of a household's food purchases to the household's current level of food spending imply that closing the gap in food spending between high- and low-SES households would not close the gap in summary measures of food healthfulness.
Hastings, Justine, Ryan Kessler, and Jesse M. Shapiro.
"The Effect of SNAP on the Composition of Purchased Foods: Evidence and Implications."
American Economic Journal: Economic Policy,
Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
State and Local Government: Health; Education; Welfare; Public Pensions
Health: Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
Food; Beverages; Cosmetics; Tobacco; Wine and Spirits