One More Saturday Night: Food Stamp Timing and Monthly Consumption Patterns
25 Pages Posted: 10 Feb 2015
Date Written: February 3, 2015
In this paper we examine the relationship between the timing of food stamp receipt and consumption patterns. We combine data on state distribution dates with scanner data on a panel of households. Consistent with previous work we find that purchases of a variety of goods are higher on receipt days. Additionally, we find that when receipt days are more likely to be on weekends, total monthly consumption within the same households is affected. In particular, purchases of beer are higher in months where food stamps are distributed on a Saturday or Sunday than in months where benefits are distributed during the week in food stamp eligible households. For food stamp eligible households, total beer purchases are between 4 and 7 percent higher in those months.
Keywords: SNAP Benefits, Food Stamps, EBT, Impatience
JEL Classification: I38, H75, D91
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