Food Stamps and the Elderly: Why is Participation So Low?

TitleFood Stamps and the Elderly: Why is Participation So Low?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsHaider, S, Schoeni, RF, Jacknowitz, A
JournalJournal of Human Resources
Call Numberpubs_2003_Haider_etal.pdf
KeywordsHouseholds, pension eligibility, Public Assistance

Estimates imply that only one-third of elderly persons who are eligible for food stamps actually participate in the program, which is half the rate that exists among younger people. This study investigates potential reasons for the relatively low take-up rate among the elderly. Analyzing new data, we conclude that the low take-up rate is not explained by measurement error and little is explained by various behavioral factors. Despite this much lower take-up rate, elderly who are eligible for assistance but not enrolled in the program do not appear to be especially needy.


National Institute on Aging

Endnote Keywords

food stamps

Endnote ID


Citation Key6854