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Economywide Impacts of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

AAEA members release new research in JAAEA

SNAP is responsible for the majority of Farm Bill outlays.  Some federal legislators would like to reallocate money from SNAP towards safety net programs for commodity farmers.  New research demonstrates how SNAP itself helps farmers.  SNAP increases demand for the food and commodities that farmers grow; farm commodity prices are slightly (less than 1%) higher due to SNAP.  Therefore the conclusion is drawn that SNAP not only benefits U.S. households in need, it supports U.S. farmers as well.

In the new article “Economywide Impacts of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program” published in the Journal of the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association, Jessica Osanya, and Jeff Reimer from Oregon State University provide SNAP skeptics with an analysis of the costs and benefits of the program in the United States.

The authors say, “We find that SNAP improves the welfare of low-income recipient households by 4.9%, while having a negligible adverse effect on high-income households, whose taxes go to help fund SNAP and other Farm Bill programs.  Deadweight losses (that is, economic inefficiencies caused by taxation) are exceedingly small according to our general equilibrium model, which was designed to closely mimic the actual workings of the U.S. economy.”

If you are interested in setting up an interview, please contact Allison Ware in the AAEA Business Office.

ABOUT AAEA: Established in 1910, the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) is the leading professional association for agricultural and applied economists, with 2,500 members in more than 60 countries. Members of the AAEA work in academic or government institutions as well as in industry and not-for-profit organizations, and engage in a variety of research, teaching, and outreach activities in the areas of agriculture, the environment, food, health, and international development. The AAEA publishes three journals, the Journal of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (an open access journal), the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy, as well as the online magazine Choices and the online open access publication series Applied Economics Teaching Resources. To learn more, visit

Contact: Allison Ware
Senior Communications & Membership Manager
(414) 918-3190