Friday, February 17, 2017
SNAP INCREASES SPENDING ON FOOD MORE THAN CASH WOULD
A new study by two Brown University economists finds that SNAP benefits increase a household’s overall spending on food each month and that an equivalent cash benefit would lead to much smaller increases in food spending. For every $100 in SNAP benefits that a household receives, the household spends just over $50 more on food each month. Households in the study that received an average of $200 per month in SNAP benefits increased their spending on SNAP-eligible food products by approximately $110. This means that SNAP benefits raise overall food spending by between 50 and 60 percent of the benefit’s value. The finding counters what many traditional economic models predict. The study’s authors argue that a range of evidence implies that a cash benefit of $200 per month would raise food spending by less than $20 or 10 percent of the subsidy value.
Source: Brown University, 2/6/17, SNAP Boosts Food Spending