Date of Award

1-1-2009

Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Department

Moore School of Business

Sub-Department

Economics

First Advisor

Melayne M. McInnes

Abstract

In New York City, more than 1.3 million individuals benefit from the Federal Food Stamp Program (FSP), the nation's largest food and nutrition assistance program. More than 2.6 million individuals are enrolled in a Medicaid plan, which provides low-income individuals with public health insurance. Despite similar income and resource eligibility requirements of the two programs, many Medicaid enrollees are estimated to be eligible to receive food stamp benefits but are not participating. This paper uses a multivariate probability model to explore the characteristics of these eligible non-participating individuals within the Medicaid population. The results show a stronger propensity to participate in the FSP among individuals with greater need - those living in households with more children, younger children, and lower income. Being a U.S. citizen and receiving SSI income also showed a strong correlation with FSP participation among eligible individuals. Individuals who are African American or Hispanic also are more likely to receive food stamp benefits relative to eligible individuals of other races or ethnicities. Overall, the findings support previous research suggesting that these population subgroups are willing and informed enough to accept government assistance through medical insurance but are not informed about or prepared to accept assistance with food purchases.

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