Kelsey Pukelis


Published paper

Working paper

Works in progress

Policy writing

Projects I've contributed to

Published paper

Employed in a SNAP? The Impact of Work Requirements on Program Participation and Labor Supply

with Colin Gray, Adam Leive, Elena Prager, and Mary Zaki

American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 2023, 15(1): 306-341.

Abstract: Work requirements are common in U.S. safety net programs. Evidence remains limited, however, on the extent to which work requirements increase economic self-sufficiency or screen out vulnerable individuals. Using linked administrative data on food stamps (SNAP) and earnings with a regression discontinuity design, we find robust evidence that work requirements increase program exits by 23 percentage points (64 percent) among incumbent participants. Overall program participation among adults who are subject to work requirements is reduced by 53 percent. Homeless adults are disproportionately screened out. We find no effects on employment, and suggestive evidence of increased earnings in some specifications.

Coverage: Business Insider, The Indicator from Planet Money, Kellogg Insight, Marketplace [1], [2], [3], Newsweek, Policy Impacts, Vox's The Weeds, Washington Post

Cited in a Congressional Testimony, CMS decision letters [1], [2]

Working paper

SNAP Policies and Enrollment during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Constructive feedback welcome.

Works in progress

Stigma and Social Safety Net Program Participation

with Alice Heath and Michael Holcomb

Pre-Registration with the American Economic Association's registry for randomized controlled trials.

Abstract: Stigma may prevent participation in social safety net programs and impose utility costs on individuals already receiving benefits. We use a nationally representative survey to assess the prevalence of stigma and its role as a barrier to take-up in the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP). The survey measures respondents’ beliefs about the observability of participation, barriers and benefits associated with participation, and attitudes towards individuals who participate in social programs. An experimental component tests the impact of three interventions on stigmatizing beliefs and interest in SNAP participation.

The Impacts of Online Grocery Shopping with SNAP

Policy writing

SNAP work requirements don’t actually get more people working – but they do drastically limit the availability of food aid. The Conversation. April 28, 2023.

Public comment on FNS Proposed Rule: "Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children: Online Ordering and Transactions and Food Delivery Revisions to Meet the Needs of a Modern, Data-Driven Program." May 25, 2023.

Projects I've contributed to

Economics of Health Equity Reading Group

Wage Insurance and Labor Market Trajectories (by Benjamin Hyman, Brian Kovak, Adam Leive, and Theodore Naff). AEA Papers and Proceedings

My role: Wrote the Stata code to process administrative data on wage insurance program records and implemented preliminary regression discontinuity analyses.

Has Mortality Risen Disproportionately For the Least Educated? (by Adam Leive and Christopher Ruhm). Journal of Health Economics

My role: Managed and organized the project's code base in a GitHub repository, which includes data management, analysis, and visualization tasks.

Education Gradients in Mortality Trends by Gender and Race (by Adam Leive and Christopher Ruhm). Journal of Human Capital

My role: Performed descriptive graphical analyses.

The Unintended Consequences of “Ban the Box”: Statistical Discrimination and Employment Outcomes when Criminal Histories are Hidden (by Jennifer Doleac and Benjamin Hansen). Journal of Labor Economics

My role: Gathered and built CPS (Current Population Survey) panel data and ACS (American Community Survey) data for revision.

Algorithmic Risk Assessment Tools in the Hands of Humans (by Jennifer Doleac and Megan Stevenson). IZA Discussion Paper No. 12853. Current draft

My role: Performed background research on the use of risk assessments in sentencing.

Encouraging Desistance from Crime (by Jennifer Doleac). Journal of Economic Literature.

My role: Collected and organized literature.

The Moral Hazard of Lifesaving Innovations: Naloxone Access, Opioid Abuse, and Crime (by Jennifer Doleac and Anita Mukherjee). Journal of Law and Economics

My role: Compiled Google Trends data and peformed background research on Naloxone access laws.

Challenges and Opportunities: Workforce Development for Behavioral Health “Peer Support Workers” (with Antoinette ‘Toni' Gingerelli and Priscilla Liu). Blog post

My role: Analyzed Burning Glass Technologies (now Lightcast) job postings data and performed literature review on the peer support workforce.