Snapping Back: Food Stamp Bans and Criminal Recidivism
AbstractI estimate the effect of access to food stamps on criminal recidivism. In 1996, a federal welfare reform imposed a lifetime ban from food stamps on convicted drug felons. Florida modified this ban, restricting it to drug traffickers who commit their offense on or after August 23, 1996. I exploit this sharp cutoff in a regression discontinuity design and find that the ban increases recidivism among drug traffickers. The increase is driven by financially motivated crimes, suggesting that the cut in benefits causes ex-convicts to return to crime to make up for the lost transfer income.
CitationTuttle, Cody. 2019. "Snapping Back: Food Stamp Bans and Criminal Recidivism." American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 11 (2): 301-27. DOI: 10.1257/pol.20170490
- H75 State and Local Government: Health; Education; Welfare; Public Pensions
- I38 Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty: Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
- K42 Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law