Reconstructing the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to More Effectively Alleviate Food Insecurity in the United States

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2018-02-01
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Gundersen, Craig
Pepper, John
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Kreider, Brent
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Economics

The Department of Economic Science was founded in 1898 to teach economic theory as a truth of industrial life, and was very much concerned with applying economics to business and industry, particularly agriculture. Between 1910 and 1967 it showed the growing influence of other social studies, such as sociology, history, and political science. Today it encompasses the majors of Agricultural Business (preparing for agricultural finance and management), Business Economics, and Economics (for advanced studies in business or economics or for careers in financing, management, insurance, etc).

History
The Department of Economic Science was founded in 1898 under the Division of Industrial Science (later College of Liberal Arts and Sciences); it became co-directed by the Division of Agriculture in 1919. In 1910 it became the Department of Economics and Political Science. In 1913 it became the Department of Applied Economics and Social Science; in 1924 it became the Department of Economics, History, and Sociology; in 1931 it became the Department of Economics and Sociology. In 1967 it became the Department of Economics, and in 2007 it became co-directed by the Colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Business.

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1898–present

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  • Department of Economic Science (1898–1910)
  • Department of Economics and Political Science (1910-1913)
  • Department of Applied Economics and Social Science (1913–1924)
  • Department of Economics, History and Sociology (1924–1931)
  • Department of Economics and Sociology (1931–1967)

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Abstract

Although the central objective of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is to reduce food insecurity in the United States, the majority of SNAP households are food insecure. Higher benefits may lead these households to food security. To evaluate this possibility, we use a question from the Current Population Survey that asks respondents how much additional money they would need to be food secure. Food insecure SNAP households report needing an average of about $42 per week to become food secure. Under a set of assumptions about the measurement of benefits and behavioral responses, we find that an increase in weekly benefits of $42 for SNAP households would lead to a 62 percent decline in food insecurity at a cost of about $27 billion.

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This article is published as Gundersen, Craig, Brent Kreider, and John V. Pepper. 2018. “Reconstructing the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to More Effectively Alleviate Food Insecurity in the United States.” RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences 4(2): 113–30. DOI: 10.7758/RSF.2018.4.2.06.

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Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2018
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