Do SNAP Work Requirement Work?

Publication Date


Grant Type

Early Career Research Award


In response to the Great Recession, the Department of Agriculture waived the work requirements for Able-Bodied Adults without Dependents (ABAWD) receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistant Program (SNAP) benefits (formerly known as Food Stamps). In 2016, 22 states either became ineligible or chose not to renew state-wide waivers leading to a significant drop in SNAP participation among ABAWD. Using data from the American Consumer Survey in conjunction with time and geographical variation, I will analyze the causal influence of the reimposition of work requirements on employment status for ABAWD. To what extent did the work requirements increase employment or just take away food assistance? This study will contribute to the current policy debates on the effectiveness of expanding or instituting work requirements for welfare programs.

Grant Product

Do SNAP Work Requirements Work?
Upjohn Institute Working Paper No. 19-297, 2019

Harris, Timothy F. 2020. "Do SNAP Work Requirements Work?" Economic Inquiry 59(1): 72-94.