Thursday, October 12, 2017

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New Contract Award – Exploring the Causes of State Variation in SNAP Administrative Costs

MSG has been awarded a contract with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to conduct an analysis of the causes of variation among States in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) administrative costs. The Urban Institute is a subcontractor to MSG. This study will use extant FNS data and other publicly available sources to identify components and processes that explain the variation in expenses.

USDA pays states 50 percent of state administrative expenses (SAE) for SNAP. There is wide variation among the states on SAE cost per case, which averages $357 per case nationally, but varies from a low of $91 to a high of $848. MSG will examine some of the factors associated with the variation, which will use fixed-effect regression modeling in our analysis and control for econometric factors such as unemployment rates and the direction of changes in them, fiscal and political conditions in the States, the allocation of shared costs across public assistance programs (affected by Medicaid expansion under ACA), and the impact of legislative changes regarding SNAP.