ATLANTA—Single mothers in Georgia who participate in the federal government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) experience greater income mobility than males, whites and people with disabilities according to a study by Georgia State University economists.
Most single mothers on SNAP who start with no income experience substantial earnings mobility in subsequent years, according to the researchers.
“A common misperception is that many single black mothers on SNAP are trapped in poverty. However, we find that they, along with other single mothers, have greater earnings mobility than other SNAP beneficiary populations, including whites and single males,” said co-author Mark Rider, an associate professor of economics. “Not surprisingly, people with disabilities experience the least earnings mobility among SNAP beneficiaries.”
“There appear to be two different experiences among SNAP beneficiaries in Georgia,” said co-author Sally Wallace, associate dean at the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies and director of the Fiscal Research Center. “Eighty to 90 percent of those on SNAP earning nothing in 2000 appear to earn nothing over significant periods of time. In contrast, those who were earning even small levels of income in 2000 while on SNAP were found to enjoy considerable earnings mobility six and 13 years later.”
The study, recently published in the Journal of Economics and Public Finance, is the first to explore the income mobility of SNAP participants using population-based data in Georgia. Authors were professors David Sjoquist, Wallace and Rider, faculty in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, and Fiscal Research Center research associate Brett Mullins.
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