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Race and Discretionary Decision-Making in the Administration of SNAP

February 16 @ 12:15 pm - 1:30 pm

From the University of Wisconsin-Madison Institute for Research on Poverty:

Speaker: Jennifer R. Daniels, IRP National Poverty Fellow, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Welfare reform has resulted in widespread state-level variation in safety net provisions and associated program access and outcomes. A large body of research demonstrates the racialized consequences of a decentralized safety net. While much of this work has focused on welfare-to-work programs, there is increasing attention on the consequences of states’ discretionary decision-making in centralized safety-net programs. This project examines the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and focuses on a particularly vulnerable target population: able-bodied adults without dependents. Results suggest (1) an adverse relationship between state-level Black racial composition and states’ imposition of administrative burden costs and offering less support in SNAP and (2) a positive relationship between states’ Latino composition and reductions in administrative burdens in SNAP.

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