Do state Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program policies influence program participation among seniors?

Jordan W. Jones, Charles Courtemanche, Augustine Denteh, James Marton, Rusty Tchernis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Senior participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has traditionally been lower than other groups among those eligible, with historical estimates below 50%. We examine the impacts of state SNAP policies on program participation among low-income senior (age 60 and older) and nonsenior households using data from the 2001 to 2014 December Current Population Survey Food Security Supplement. Our results suggest that policies designed to expand SNAP eligibility modestly increased participation among seniors but led to larger increases among nonseniors. In contrast, we find little evidence of effects of policies related to transaction costs, stigma, or outreach on either group.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)591-608
Number of pages18
JournalApplied Economic Perspectives and Policy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was supported with a grant from the University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research through funding by the US Department of Agriculture, Food, and Nutrition Service, Contract Number 12319818C0010. The opinions and conclusions expressed herein are solely those of the author(s) and should not be construed as representing the opinions or policies of the UKCPR or any agency of the Federal Government. We thank Craig Gundersen, Jim Ziliak, Chris Bollinger, three anonymous referees, and participants at the Senior Hunger Research Symposium for valuable feedback. 1

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Agricultural & Applied Economics Association.


  • SNAP
  • eligibility
  • participation
  • seniors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Economics and Econometrics


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