Panel: Poverty, the Social Safety Net, and Socioeconomic Outcomes
(Poverty and Income Policy)

Thursday, November 2, 2017: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
Stetson E (Hyatt Regency Chicago)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Panel Organizers:  Donna Ginther, University of Kansas
Panel Chairs:  Lucie Schmidt, Williams College
Discussants:  David Slusky, University of Kansas and Chloe N. East, University of Colorado, Denver

Precision in Measurement: Using SNAP Administrative Records to Evaluate Poverty
Liana Fox, Misty Heggeness, Jose D. Pacas and Kathryn Stevens, U.S. Census Bureau

Exposure to Food Insecurity during Adolescence and the Educational Consequences
Colleen Heflin, Syracuse University, Rajeev Darolia, University of Kentucky and Sharon Kukla-Acevedo, Central Michigan University

Do State TANF Policies Affect Child Abuse and Neglect?
Donna Ginther and Michelle Johnson-Motoyama, University of Kansas

This session includes four papers on poverty and the effects of the social safety net on children and adults.  The supplemental poverty measure (SPM) incorporates measures of the social safety net.  Yet survey data may mismeasure participation in social safety net programs.  Fox, Heggeness and Pacas use administrative records to examine the extent to which self-reported participation in safety net programs such as SNAP, TANF and LIHEAP are accurately captured in the current population survey.  The minimum wage has gained traction in the states as a policy to support low-income workers.  If a state increases the minimum wage, will low-wage workers on the border in the neighboring state commute to take higher paying jobs?  McKinnish finds the opposite—that individuals in higher minimum wage states are more likely to commute to the lower minimum wage neighboring states, casting doubt on the efficacy of the minimum wage as a viable safety net policy.  Heflin, Darolia and Kukla-Acevedo examine how lack of access to the safety net that gives rise to food insecurity in adolescence is associated with educational outcomes.  They find that after controlling for permanent income and food insecurity, individuals who are food insecure during adolescence are more likely to drop out of high school and less likely to attend and graduate from college.  Ginther and Johnson-Motoyama examine how state policies governing access to TANF are associated with child abuse and neglect.  They find that states that restricted access to TANF had substantial increases in child abuse, neglect and foster care placements.  Taken together, these papers underscore the importance of access to the safety net for poverty measurement, earnings, education, and child maltreatment.

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