"The Adequacy of SNAP Benefits: Some Past and Recent Findings"
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is one of the key components of the social welfare safety net in the United States. The purpose of the SNAP is to provide enough support for eligible households to reach the cost of a nutritious diet. However, there is mounting concern and evidence that SNAP benefits are inadequate for meeting this basic objective. This presentation will first summarize some of our main findings over the last decade on this problem. I will then present a simple unifying framework that achieves three objectives:
- to identify the implicit hidden reductions in the current formula,
- use this framework to quantify and rank these hidden reductions in terms of their relative importance,
- parameterize and quantify ideological positions on a continuum ideology adjustment scale from ‘ultra conservative’ to ‘ultra-liberal’ that provides a focal point for effective discussions and debates that does not currently exist with the current binary, yes/no scale.
Dr. George C. Davis is a Professor at Virginia Tech in the Departments of Ag. & Applied Economics and Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise. His main research focus is on household time allocation and food consumption with implications for the effectiveness of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). He has published over 70 articles in a wide variety of journals such as American Journal of Agricultural Economics, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Appetite, Economic Letters, Economics and Philosophy, Endocrinology, Food Policy, Journal of Business and Economic Statistics, Journal of Economic Methodology, and The Review of Economics and Statistics, among others. He is coauthor of the 2016 Oxford University Press book, Food and Nutrition Economics: Fundamentals for Health Sciences. He has won numerous awards for his research and publications. Over the years he has served in numerous capacities within the profession and is currently Co-Editor for The Review of Economics of the Household. He teaches food and nutrition economics at the undergraduate and graduate levels at Virginia Tech.