Administrative Burden and Procedural Denials: Experimental Evidence from SNAP


Mencoff Hall 205

Tatiana A Homonoff, Associate Professor of Economics and Public Policy, New York University

Abstract: Many safety net program applications result in procedural denials due to the administrative burden associated with applying. We study the effect of an alternative application process for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program designed to alleviate barriers to program access associated with the intake interview. Using a field experiment involving over 60,000 applicants in Los Angeles, we find that access to on-demand interviews expedites approvals and increases overall participation rates: early approvals nearly double and approval rates increase by six percentage points. Our findings highlight the importance of incorporating flexibility into the design of program integrity policies to minimize procedural denials.

Bio: Tatiana Homonoff is an Associate Professor of Economics and Public Policy at NYU’s Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service. Her research focuses on identifying areas in which behavioral economics can improve public policy, with a focus on administrative burden, tax policy, and consumer finance. She received a Bachelor’s from Brown University and a Ph.D. in Economics from Princeton University.

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