Review of Economics of the Household

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 249–266 | Cite as

Estimating dual headed time in food production with implications for SNAP benefit adequacy

  • Wen YouEmail author
  • George C. Davis


Intrahousehold resource allocations have important implications for policies targeted at household resources and thus household welfare. Recent literature has shown, for single headed households, that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits may be inadequate to reach a nutritious diet due to a “time deficit” gap in food production. This paper first develops a simple theoretically based time adjustment multiplier to address this benefit inadequacy for single and dual headed households. A method is then developed for estimating spousal time in food production with limited data. The estimated time deficit gap and time adjustment multiplier are smaller for dual headed households than single headed households. For single headed households, the time adjusted benefits are about $107 per household per week higher than the unadjusted benefits. For dual headed households, ignoring the spousal time contribution, the time adjusted benefits are about $73 per household per week higher than the unadjusted benefits. However, by including the spousal time contribution, this benefit shortfall is reduced by about $50. These findings demonstrate the importance of taking into account intrahousehold time allocation in evaluating the adequacy of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.


Food Production Time SNAP Dual-headed households 

JEL Code

D04 I32 I38 



This work was provided in part by the Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station and the Hatch Program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Agricultural and Applied EconomicsVirginia TechBlacksburgUSA
  2. 2.Department of Human Nutrition, Foods, and ExerciseVirginia TechBlacksburgUSA

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