Professor Chloe East has received an Early Career Award from the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. This prestigious award is given to junior faculty for policy-related research on labor market issues. Professor East's research examines the effects of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program ("Food Stamps") on adults' labor market and health outcomes. Policy changes in the 1990s have dramatically altered the landscape of the safety net in the U.S. As a result, the Food Stamp program has become one of the largest safety net programs and is increasingly important for individuals.
Critics of the program argue it reduces the incentive to work, while supporters argue it boosts families’ resources in times of need, potentially also improving nutritional and health outcomes. The effects of the program on these outcomes, however, are largely unknown. Professor East's research uses a large, recent set of policy changes that affected documented immigrants’ eligibility across states and over time from 1996 to 2003, to evaluate the effects of Food Stamps on foreign-born adults’ labor supply and health outcomes in the short-run and long-run.