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Sources of Variation in State-Level Food Stamp Participation Rates.

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Abstract:

Food stamp participation rates vary substantially from state to state. This report looks at the two factors most likely to cause this variation--the characteristics of those eligible to receive food stamps, as well as the economic and policy conditions, in each state. The authors found that differences across states in the characteristics of those eligible to participate contribute to differences in participation rates. However, these differences are not the only explanation for variation in state participation rates--even if the characteristics of those eligible to receive food stamps were identical from state to state, participation rates would still vary. However, there is little evidence that this remaining variation is explained by differences in state economic and policy conditions.