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Income Volatility and Food Assistance in the United States

Dean Jolliffe and James P. Ziliak, Editors

Publication Year: 2008

The papers in this volume provide much-needed focus and in-depth coverage of the effect of income volatility on the participation in and design of food assistance programs such as the Food Stamp Program and the National School Lunch Program.

Published by: W.E. Upjohn Institute


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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. v-vi

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p. vii

Many people provided invaluable assistance and guidance to make this book possible. We owe a special debt of gratitude to Becky Blank, Sheldon Danziger, Sarah Marsh, Pattie Rayl, and Kristin Seefeldt at the National Poverty Center and Tina Terry and Dominique Wood at the Economic Research Service (ERS) for all of their...

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1 - Introduction

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pp. 1-8

The chapters in this volume were originally papers commissioned by the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan and by the Economic Research Service (ERS) in the U.S. Department of Agriculture. They were presented at a conference titled “Income Volatility and Implications for Food...

Part 1 The Relationship between Income Volatility and Program Participation

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p. 9

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2 - Trends in Income and Consumption Volatility, 1970–2000

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pp. 77-34

A household’s well-being depends not only on its level of income, but also on how much that income varies from year to year. A family with steady, predictable income finds it easier to plan, save, and anticipate future expenses such as college and retirement. On the other hand, a household with highly...

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3 - Variable Effects of Earnings Volatility on Food Stamp Participation /

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pp. 35-60

There are several sound reasons to suppose that earnings volatility plays a role in program participation behavior; however, the results from previous empirical studies have been equivocal. To the extent that researchers have considered volatility, they have mostly focused on different types and definitions...

Part 2 Income Volatility, Welfare Reform and Use of the Food Stamp Program

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p. 61

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4 - Earnings Volatility and the Reasons for Leaving the Food Stamp Program

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pp. 63-102

The primary goal of the Food Stamp Program is to improve the well-being of low-income households by increasing their food purchasing power and helping them obtain more nutritious diets than they could otherwise afford. To maximize well-being, program administrators want benefits to reach...

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5 - The Dynamics of Food Stamp Receipt after Welfare Reform among Current and Former Welfare Recipients

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pp. 103-134

In the decade following passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA, or welfare reform), numerous studies examined the correlates of leaving, returning to, and remaining on cash assistance. However, fewer have analyzed food stamp dynamics...

Part 3 Income Volatility and Implications for Serving Children and the Elderly

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p. 135

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6 - Income Volatility and Its Implications for School Lunch

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pp. 137-170

Income volatility—month-to-month changes in a household’s income— creates policy challenges for the administration of federal food assistance programs and potential hardship for families. As families shift in and out of eligibility, program designers must define eligibility rules that effectively target...

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7 - The Age Gradient in Food Stamp Program Participation: Does Income Volatility Matter?

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pp. 171-214

With the passage of welfare reform in 1996, the Food Stamp Program became the sole program in the safety net that resembles an entitlement. Subject to basic income and asset tests, individuals are eligible to receive food stamps throughout their lifetimes, irrespective of family structure...

Part 4 Design of Food Assistance Programs

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p. 215

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8 - Design of Assistance Programs to Address Real Income Volatility

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pp. 217-258

Over the past two decades, changes in income volatility and its sources have received increasing attention (Blundell, Pistaferri, and Preston 2004; Gottschalk and Moffit 1994; Haider 2001). Increases in income volatility raise issues of public concern. What impact will greater volatility have on household...

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9 - Income Volatility and Certification Duration for WIC Children

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pp. 259-294

The U.S. Department of Agriculture administers 15 domestic food assistance programs, including the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Policymakers establish program benefits and set criteria that determine who is eligible to receive benefits. WIC...

The Authors

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pp. 295-296


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pp. 297-308

About the Institute

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p. 309

E-ISBN-13: 9780880994422
E-ISBN-10: 0880994428
Print-ISBN-13: 9780880993357
Print-ISBN-10: 0880993359

Page Count: 309
Publication Year: 2008

Edition: First

OCLC Number: 301796356
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Income Volatility and Food Assistance in the United States

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Food relief -- United States.
  • Income -- United States.
  • Food stamps -- United States.
  • School children -- Food -- United States.
  • Elderly poor -- Nutrition -- United States.
  • Economic assistance, Domestic -- United States.
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