Past Research Projects

Health, Economic Instability, and Participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
Dr. Jinhee Kim with Yunhee Change (University of Mississippi) and Swam Chatterjee (University of Georgia)

The primary objective in this project is to determine the effects of health on the Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participation among low-income, low-asset families living in the Southern States. Specifically, using nationally representative longitudinal data, Dr. Kim and her associates investigate how adverse changes in individuals' health conditions, as well as changes in their out-of-pocket medical expenditures, have affected SNAP participation, and whether such influences, if any, have been associated with the low asset holdings and inability to borrow. This study investigates whether liquidity constraint is a mediator that aggravates the association between health and SNAP participation and whether there is a difference between those that have health insurance and those that do not. Data will be drawn from the 2003-2009 Panel Study of lncome Dynamics (PSID). The PSID is a national longitudinal survey that includes over 2,000 households living in the South. It also includes detailed information on wealth, health, household expenditures, insurance, and program participation of each household. The longitudinal aspect of the data not only allows the researchers to examine whether and how changes in a household's health conditions, medical expenditures, and asset holdings are associated with the likelihood of SNAP participation in the subsequent period, but it also enables them to account for macroeconomic dynamics in time fixed effects models. State-level variations in policy environment are also controlled through state fixed effects. The knowledge gained should lead to more effective interventions and informed policy decisions for low-income households including food, health insurance, and asset building programs.


Food Stamp Nutrition Education Program Evaluation
Dr. Bonnie Braun 
The goal of this project is to help the Food Stamp program more effectively improve the diet of participants and the systems that affect their lives. Dr. Braun and Family Science graduate students collect data from Food Stamp eligible individuals about their attitudes and behaviors relating to use of the Food Stamp program, including views of the program and its operations. They also conduct an evaluation of the Maryland Food Stamp Nutrition Education Program each year. The funding for this project is provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture through the Maryland Department of Human Resources.

Workplace Financial Education
Dr. Jinhee Kim 
This project involves the development of an adult-focused signature financial education program.  The project will increase the outreach of UME and Money Smart by increasing the use of technology to engage newer clientele, anytime, anywhere with education and information they have deemed important, interesting and necessary.  By implementing and executing the Workplace Financial Education Initiative, the University of Maryland Extension strives to see an increase in basic financial literacy and security for the future of Maryland residents and an increase in adult clientele’s ability to make both short- and long-term decisions regarding credit, spending, and retirement planning. The project has been funded by University of Maryland Extension and Investment Company Institute Education Foundation. 

Microeconomic Analysis of Russian Households
Dr. Manouchehr Mokhtari 
Dr. Mokhtari conducted a microeconomic analysis of Russian household behavior under the condition of transition to a market economy. This study investigates important microeconomic issues using a longitudinal survey of 4,090 Russian households. Cross-sectional data sets provide information about household decision-making in the emerging economies of countries formerly in the Soviet Union. Dr. Mokhtari applies a variety of mathematical and quantitative methods to model and analyze economic issues and international investigations of household behavior.