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WIC in your neighborhood: New evidence on the impacts of geographic access to clinics

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  • Rossin-Slater, Maya

Abstract

A large body of evidence indicates that conditions in-utero and health at birth matter for individuals' long-run outcomes, suggesting potential value in programs aimed at pregnant women and young children. This paper uses a novel identification strategy and data from birth and administrative records over 2005–2009 to provide causal estimates of the effects of geographic access to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). My empirical approach uses within-ZIP-code variation in WIC clinic presence together with maternal fixed effects, and accounts for the potential endogeneity of mobility, gestational-age bias, and measurement error in gestation. I find that access to WIC increases food benefit take-up, pregnancy weight gain, birth weight, and the probability of breastfeeding initiation at the time of hospital discharge. The estimated effects are strongest for mothers with a high school education or less, who are most likely eligible for WIC services.

Suggested Citation

  • Rossin-Slater, Maya, 2013. "WIC in your neighborhood: New evidence on the impacts of geographic access to clinics," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 51-69.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:102:y:2013:i:c:p:51-69
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2013.03.009
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Currie, Janet & Rossin-Slater, Maya, 2013. "Weathering the storm: Hurricanes and birth outcomes," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 487-503.
    2. Douglas Almond & Hilary W. Hoynes & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, 2011. "Inside the War on Poverty: The Impact of Food Stamps on Birth Outcomes," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(2), pages 387-403, May.
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    7. Ted Joyce & Andrew Racine & Cristina Yunzal-Butler, 2008. "Reassessing the WIC effect: Evidence from the Pregnancy Nutrition Surveillance System," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(2), pages 277-303.
    8. Currie, Janet & Gruber, Jonathan, 1996. "Saving Babies: The Efficacy and Cost of Recent Changes in the Medicaid Eligibility of Pregnant Women," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(6), pages 1263-1296, December.
    9. Hoynes, Hilary & Page, Marianne & Stevens, Ann Huff, 2011. "Can targeted transfers improve birth outcomes?: Evidence from the introduction of the WIC program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 813-827, August.
    10. Yonatan Ben-Shalom & Robert A. Moffitt & John Karl Scholz, 2011. "An Assessment of the Effectiveness of Anti-Poverty Programs in the United States," NBER Working Papers 17042, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Douglas Almond & Janet Currie & Valentina Duque, 2017. "Childhood Circumstances and Adult Outcomes: Act II," NBER Working Papers 23017, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Slusky, David J.G., 2017. "Defunding women’s health clinics exacerbates Hispanic disparity in preventive care," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 156(C), pages 61-64.
    3. Jackson, Margot I. & Mayne, Patrick, 2016. "Child access to the nutritional safety net during and after the Great Recession: The case of WIC," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 170(C), pages 197-207.
    4. repec:eee:cysrev:v:79:y:2017:i:c:p:115-125 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Matsumoto, Brett, 2016. "Comment on the Identification Strategy in "Family Ruptures, Stress, and the Mental Health of the Next Generation"," MPRA Paper 71795, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Yao Lu & David J.G. Slusky, 2016. "The Impact of Women’s Health Clinic Closures on Fertility," WORKING PAPERS SERIES IN THEORETICAL AND APPLIED ECONOMICS 201607, University of Kansas, Department of Economics, revised Aug 2016.
    7. Matsumoto, Brett, 2016. "Comment on the Identification Strategy in "Family Ruptures, Stress, and the Mental Health of the Next Generation", Part 2," MPRA Paper 72444, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Haeck, Catherine & Lefebvre, Pierre, 2016. "A simple recipe: The effect of a prenatal nutrition program on child health at birth," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 77-89.
    9. Jackson, Margot I., 2015. "Early childhood WIC participation, cognitive development and academic achievement," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 126(C), pages 145-153.

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