James P. Ziliak

Welfare reform and the intergenerational transmission of dependence

We estimate the effect of welfare reform on the intergenerational transmission of welfare participation and related economic outcomes using a long panel of mother-daughter pairs over the survey period 1968-2013 in the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. Because states implemented welfare reform at different times starting in 1992, the cross-state variation over time permits us to quasi-experimentally separate out the effect of mothers’ welfare participation during childhood on daughters’ economic outcomes in adulthood in the pre- and post-welfare reform periods.

Food security and geographic factors in food purchase and acquisition decisions

In April 2012 the Economic Research Service (ERS) and the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) in the U.S. Department of Agriculture embarked on an ambitious new data collection enterprise known as the National Household Food Acquisition and Purchase Survey (FoodAPS). FoodAPS is innovative in that it is the first nationally representative household survey to collect comprehensive data on household food expenditures and acquisitions, including those obtained using benefits from food assistance programs.

The state of senior hunger in America 2014: An annual report

In our update for the calendar year 2014, we find that 15.8% of seniors are marginally food insecure, 8.8% are food insecure, and 3.4% are very low food secure. This translates into 10.2 million, 5.7 million, and 2.2 million seniors, respectively. From 2001 to 2014, the fraction of seniors experiencing the marginal food insecurity, food insecurity, and very low food security increased by 47%, 68%, and 138%, respectively. The number of seniors in each group rose 119%, 148%, and 252% which also reflects the growing population of seniors.

Trouble in the tails? What we know about earnings nonresponse 30 years after Lillard, Smith, and Welch

Earnings nonresponse in household surveys is widespread, yet there is limited evidence on whether and how nonresponse bias affects measured earnings. This paper examines the patterns and consequences of nonresponse using internal Current Population Survey individual records linked to administrative Social Security Administrative data on earnings for calendar years 2005-2010. Our findings confirm the conjecture by Lillard, Smith, and Welch (1986) that nonresponse across the earnings distribution is U-shaped. Left-tail “strugglers” and right-tail “stars” are least likely to report earnings.

The state of senior hunger in America 2013: An annual report

Based on the barometer of food insecurity, this report demonstrates that seniors continue to face increasing challenges despite the end of the Great Recession. Specifically, in 2013 we find that 15.5% of seniors marginally food insecurer, 8.7% are food insecure, and 3.3% are very low food secure. This translates into 9.6 million, 5.4 million, and 2.0 million seniors, respectively. Since the onset of the recession in 2007 until 2013, the number of seniors experiencingfood insecurity has increased by 68%.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

This paper discusses the history of the TANF program, participation, and spending. Also discussed are the goals of TANF legislation, changes in rules regarding utilization of cash welfare, especially the introduction of work requirements under the 1996 legislation. The author also offers a theorhetical discussion and a review of the empirical literature regarding TANF. The paper was prepared for a National Business and Economic Research conference on Dec. 5-6, 2014.

Income, Program Participation, Poverty, and Financial Vulnerability: Research and Data Needs

The aim of this paper is to assess the adequacy of the data infrastructure in the United States to meet future research and policy evaluation needs as it pertains to income, program participation, poverty, and financial vulnerability. I first discuss some major research themes that are likely to dominate policy and scientific discussions in the coming decade.

The state of senior hunger in America 2012: An annual report

In this report we provide an overview of the extent and distribution of food insecurity in 2012 among seniors, along with trends over the past decade using national and state-level data from the December Supplements to the Current Population Survey (CPS). Based on the full set of 18 questions in the Core Food Security Module (CFSM), the module used by the USDA to establish the official food insecurity rates of households in the United States, our emphasis here is on quantifying the senior population facing the threat of hunger (i.e. marginally food insecure).

The role of CPS nonresponse on the level and trend in poverty

The Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC) serves as the data source for official income, poverty, and inequality statistics in the United States. There is a concern that the rise in nonresponse to earnings questions could deteriorate data quality and distort estimates of these important metrics. We use a dataset of internal ASEC records matched to Social Security Detailed Earnings Records (DER) to study the impact of earnings nonresponse on estimates of poverty from 1997-2008.

The health consequences of senior hunger in the United States: Evidence from the 1999-2010 NHANES

Food insecure seniors have lower nutrient intakes. For each of the eleven nutrients, average intakes are statistically significantly lower generally by 10-20 percent for food insecure seniors in comparison to food secure seniors. After controlling for other confounding factors, the effect of food insecurity is still negative for each of the nutrients albeit in some of the cases, the effect is statistically insignificant. These differences in health outcomes held across time.