The Effectiveness of the Food Stamp Program at Reducing Differences in the Intergenerational Persistence of Poverty
053023-WP-The Effectiveness of the Food Stamp Program at Reducing Racial Differences in the Intergenerational Persistence of Poverty
Benjamin Glasner, Columbia University, Ronald B Mincy, Columbia University, Zachary Parolin, Columbia University and Bocconi University, Christopher Wimer Columbia University,
This paper investigates the effects of the Food Stamp Program (FSP) on racial disparities in the intergenerational persistence of poverty. We apply staggered difference-in-difference models that exploit variation in the timing of county-level FSP rollouts using data from the restricted-access version of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) from 1968 to 2019. Black individuals who experience childhood poverty are more likely than similar White individuals to also experience poverty in adulthood. We find, however, that the FSP expansion reduced the likelihood of poverty for all adults by 5 percentage points, with the strongest reductions found for Black adults whose parents did not have a high school degree. The FSP reduced deep poverty in adulthood by 9 percentage points for Black adults with less-educated parents, stronger than the effects for White adults and for Black adults with more-educated parents. The findings suggest that income transfers that reduce poverty during childhood can contribute to reduced poverty in adulthood, and also reduce racial gaps therein.