SNAP and Labor Supply

Publication Date


Grant Type

Early Career Research Award


The proposed study examines the impact of eligibility rules for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) on labor supply. Using novel statewide administrative data containing the universe of SNAP applicants and recipients matched to restricted-access Census Bureau data products we test whether SNAP recipients adjust labor supply around critical eligibility thresholds and explore how changes to eligibility policies influence these adjustments. Specifically, we extend the well-known Saez (2010) bunching estimator and develop a "difference-in-bunching" estimator that contrasts the shapes of distributions between those categorically eligible and ineligible for SNAP. Further, we exploit state- and county-level variation in work requirement enforcement to explore the impact of SNAP work requirements on labor supply. Understanding how SNAP eligibility criteria influences labor supply is useful for policymakers trying to minimize SNAP-induced labor market distortions.