Panel Paper: Better Together? Changes in the Dynamics of Joint Participation in SNAP and UI Following the Great Recession

Saturday, November 9, 2013 : 3:50 PM
West End Ballroom C (Washington Marriott)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Alix Gould-Werth and H. Luke Shaefer, University of Michigan
This paper uses panel data from the nationally representative Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) from years 2000-2011, to examine changes in the prevalence and character of joint participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Unemployment Insurance (UI) among job losers during the Great Recession. Descriptive as well as multinomial logistic regression analyses are presented. Descriptive statistics indicate heightened use of Unemployment Insurance and Food Stamps/Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program during this period, and a change in the sequencing of program entrance. Prior to the recession, joint participants across education levels were more likely to enter SNAP first, then UI. Workers across every education level became far more likely to access UI first and then SNAP during the Great Recession Analyses suggest that the increase in joint participation appears to be driven by long-term rising rates of SNAP participation across workers at every education level, and temporary increases in UI recipiency (both because of rising rates of involuntary job loss and the temporary extensions of UI benefit durations) across workers at every education level during the Great Recession period.  In this way, the expansion of joint SNAP-UI participation suggests a liberalization of the “target populations” of both programs during a period of economic hardship.