SNAP, Postnatal Education, and Maternal and Child Well-being

Shauna Dyer , University of Michigan

Poor mothers often have low levels of education and struggle to support their families. These women are increasingly returning to school in the hopes of improving their employment opportunities. Using data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, I examine a potential source of financial support for student mothers beyond traditional financial aid: the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Findings suggest that receiving SNAP is associated with a 9.8 percentage point increase in the probability of completing any education and a 8.3 percentage point increase in the probability of completing a two-year degree. Additional analyses will use wave six data (when the focal children are fifteen) to examine various outcomes for mothers who completed their education by the previous wave and their families. Preliminary results show that mother's education is positively associated with family income and negatively associated with unemployment insurance and Medicaid. I will examine child outcomes as well.

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 Presented in Session 8. Economy, Labor Force, Education, & Inequality