Multiple Program Participation: Evidence from Linked EITC and SNAP Administrative Records

Amy B. O'Hara, U.S. Census Bureau
Maggie R. Jones, U.S. Census Bureau
Benjamin C. Harris, U.S. Census Bureau

The social safety net is of much concern for policy makers and recipients alike, but little is known about how individual programs are woven together to safeguard families and individuals from the consequences of poverty. We contribute to the empirical literature on multiple program participation by linking individuals across administrative records for two large transfer programs in New York State: the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamps Program). By linking these two files, we obtain accurate estimates of the number of individuals and households who participate in either or both programs. We also present summary statistics showing characteristics of tax filers who participate in SNAP.

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Presented in Session 10: Safety Net Programs and the Great Recession