‘I don’t know nothing about that’: How “learning costs” undermine COVID-related efforts to make SNAP and WIC more accessible

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Scholars have focused on administrative burden or the costs of claiming public benefits. Learning, psychological, and compliance costs can discourage program participation and benefit redemption. Using 60 in-depth qualitative interviews with participants of the SNAP and WIC programs, we offer thick descriptions of how beneficiaries experience compliance, learning, and redemption costs—a subset of learning costs regarding how to redeem benefits—amidst COVID-19 policy changes. Although policy changes were poised to reduce compliance costs and ease conditions that create redemption costs in each program, the learning costs of policy changes prevented many program participants from experiencing the benefits of these policy transformations.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Barnes, C; Riel, V

Published Date

  • November 1, 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 54 / 10

Start / End Page

  • 1902 - 1930

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1552-3039

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0095-3997

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/00953997211073948

Citation Source

  • Scopus