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Food and Nutrition Assistance Research Database

Project: Food Stamp, NSLP, and WIC Underreporting in Household Surveys: Comparing Aggregates and Assessing the Implications
Award Year: 2006
Amount of award, fiscal 2006: $30,000.00
Institution: University of Chicago
Principal Investigator: Bruce Meyer
Status: Ongoing
Detailed Objective: Millions of Americans participate in at least one of USDA's three largest food assistance programs-the Food Stamp Program, the National School Lunch Program, and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Woman, Infants, and Children (WIC). Researchers and statisticians rely on household surveys as a main source of data to understand who receives benefits from these programs, the characteristics of recipients, and the effects of the programs. However, these surveys often sharply underreport receipt of benefits from these programs. The extent to which underreporting of participation and benefits occurs and how the systematic difference between reported and actual participation has changed over time are not well understood. This project will calculate reporting rates for these three main food assistance programs using four national household surveys-the Current Population Survey (CPS) Annual Demographic File/Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ADF/ASEC), the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), and the Consumer Expenditure (CE) Survey. Both dollar reporting rates and reporting rates for number of participants across several years will be calculated and compared with those derived from administrative data to determine the extent to which underreporting occurs.
Topic: Data Collection and Methodology, School Lunch and Breakfast, SNAP/Food Stamp Program, WIC
Dataset: Current Population Survey (CPS), Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP)

Last updated: Monday, August 18, 2014

For more information contact: Victor Oliveira

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