Financial Repercussions of SNAP Work Requirements

Abstract

This paper considers the credit response of individuals after the implementation of new work requirements for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP) benefits using a large nationally representative sample of credit records. It does so by exploiting county-level variation in the implementation of work requirements after the Great Recession in a difference-in-differences design. We find that the implementation of new SNAP work requirements leads more people to seek out new credit and leads to an increase in credit account openings. New work requirements also result in an increase in total outstanding balances on bank and retail card accounts and increase the number of borrowers that are past due on these accounts. These findings suggest that some individuals are turning to credit and debt products to cover expenses after losing eligibility for SNAP benefits.

Publication
Working Paper
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Samuel Dodini
Postdoctoral Fellow in Labor Economics

My broad research interests include the economics of labor markets, incorporating insights from behavioral economics, occupational licensing, monopsony power, education, public finance, and urban economics.