|Detailed Objective: Research has shown that program features, economic conditions, and household characteristics are all important determinants of whether and how long people participate in the Food Stamp Program (FSP). Less is known, however, about how these determinants affect specific processes, such as the initial decision to apply for benefits, an agency’s decision to approve an application, and once on the program, a household’s decisions to maintain eligibility, comply with program rules, and periodically supply eligibility information.
The researchers will conduct descriptive and multivariate analysis of these processes over the period 1996-2005, using case records from South Carolina’s Food Stamp and Medicaid programs and quarterly earnings records from its Unemployment Insurance program. First, with the set of all food stamp applicants in the State, the researchers will estimate multinomial choice models of the approval process and competing risk models of the continuation/closure process. Next, with the set of Medicaid households, the researchers will estimate models for food stamp eligibility, applications, application approvals, and case continuations/closures.
The researchers will investigate the roles of program policies and client characteristics in explaining FSP participation. The results will help policymakers and administrators to identify barriers to food stamp use among eligible households, target outreach efforts, improve program compliance, and detect ineligible households.