Short Title

The 47 Percent


We analyze trends and variations in state-level expenditure growth for Medicaid, SSI, SNAP, and TANF. We explore three areas of interest: (1) How program structure impacts growth; (2) How programs responded to the 2008/2009 recession; and (3) How state preference for limited government, measured by Right- To-Work (RTW) status and political affiliation, impacts program expenditure growth. Findings show that program structure impacts expenditure growth: the state-matched programs like TANF and Medicaid grew slower from 1990-2011 than did open-ended federal programs like SNAP. OLS models found states with RTW policies and large Hispanic populations positively associated with higher income maintenance and Medicaid expenditure growth.

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