Public Assistance Use Among Two-Parent Families: An Analysis of TANF and Food Stamp Program Eligibility and Participation


This study examines eligibility and participation among married and single parents in TANF and Food Stamp Programs. Results show that even among eligible families below 200% of poverty, married parents are less likely to participate in TANF and Food Stamps compared to single parents. These differences persist after controlling for a variety of family demographic characteristics and financial circumstances, suggesting that the two family types make fundamentally different decisions regarding the use of public assistance. Results are based on data from the 2001 Current Population Survey as well as microsimulation results from the TRIM and MATH models.


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