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Explaining the Impact of USDA's Healthy Incentives Pilot on Different Spending Outcomes

Parke Wilde, Jacob Alex Klerman, Lauren E.W. Olsho and Susan Bartlett


January 20, 2016

This article reports spending results for the USDA's Healthy Incentives Pilot (HIP), which tested a 30% incentive on fruit and vegetable purchases with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Self-reported mean usual monthly spending for all fruits and vegetables was $6.15 higher for randomly assigned HIP participant households than for a control group. Much of the additional spending appears to have taken place in ways that did not earn the incentive—spending with non-SNAP resources or in retailers that did not participate in HIP. This article investigates mechanisms that might explain the HIP impact on fruit and vegetable purchases that did not earn the incentive. Read more about Abt's work in Food Assistance Programs & Nutrition.

Focus Areas
North America