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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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    Cited by:

    1. Finkelstein, Amy & Notowidigdo, Matthew J., 2018. "Take-up and Targeting: Experimental Evidence from SNAP," IZA Discussion Papers 11558, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Douglas Almond & Janet Currie & Valentina Duque, 2018. "Childhood Circumstances and Adult Outcomes: Act II," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 56(4), pages 1360-1446, December.
    3. Clarke, Damian & Cortés, Gustavo & Vergara, Diego, 2017. "Growing Together: Assessing Equity and Effciency in an Early-Life Health Program in Chile," Research Department working papers 1139, CAF Development Bank Of Latinamerica.
    4. Hanks, Andrew S. & Gunther, Carolyn & Lillard, Dean & Scharff, Robert L., 2019. "From paper to plastic: Understanding the impact of eWIC on WIC recipient behavior," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 83-91.
    5. 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.
    6. Tatiana Homonoff & Jason Somerville, 2020. "Program Recertification Costs: Evidence from SNAP," NBER Working Papers 27311, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Martha J. Bailey & Hilary W. Hoynes & Maya Rossin-Slater & Reed Walker, 2020. "Is the Social Safety Net a Long-Term Investment? Large-Scale Evidence from the Food Stamps Program," NBER Working Papers 26942, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Katherine Meckel, 2020. "Is the Cure Worse Than the Disease? Unintended Effects of Payment Reform in a Quantity-Based Transfer Program," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 110(6), pages 1821-1865, June.
    9. Hinnosaar, Marit, 2018. "How long do healthy habits last? The role of prices," CEPR Discussion Papers 12815, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Duque, Valentina & Rosales-Rueda, Maria & Sanchez, Fabio, 2019. "How Do Early-Life Shocks Interact with Subsequent Human Capital Investments? Evidence from Administrative Data," Working Papers 2019-17, University of Sydney, School of Economics.
    11. Ha Trong Nguyen & Huong Thu Le & Luke B Connelly, 2021. "Who's declining the “free lunch”? New evidence from the uptake of public child dental benefits," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(2), pages 270-288, February.
    12. Andrew S. Hanks & Carolyn Gunther & Dean Lillard & Robert L. Scharff, 2018. "From Paper to Plastic: Understanding the Impact of eWIC on WIC Recipient Behavior," NBER Working Papers 25131, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. 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.
    14. Patralekha Ukil, 2019. "Parental Economic Shocks and Infant Health: The Effect of Import Competition in the U.S," Working papers 2019-18, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    15. Damian Clarke & Gustavo Cortés Méndez & Diego Vergara Sepúlveda, 2020. "Growing together: assessing equity and efficiency in a prenatal health program," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 33(3), pages 883-956, July.
    16. Sonchak, Lyudmyla, 2017. "The impact of WIC on breastfeeding initiation and gestational weight gain: Case study of South Carolina Medicaid mothers," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 115-125.
    17. 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.
    18. Yao Lu & David J. G. Slusky, 2019. "The Impact of Women's Health Clinic Closures on Fertility," American Journal of Health Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 5(3), pages 334-359, Summer.
    19. 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.
    20. 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.
    21. Roy van der Weide & Ambar Narayan, 2019. "China and the United States: Different economic models but similarly low levels of socioeconomic mobility," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2019-121, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    22. Wu, Qi & Saitone, Tina L. & Sexton, Richard J., 2017. "Food Access, Food Deserts, and the Women, Infants, and Children Program," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 42(3), September.
    23. McLaughlin, Patrick W. & Gleason, Stacy & Wilkin, Margaret, 2018. "Price Variability Across Food Product and Vendor Type in Food Benefit Redemptions Under the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)," Economic Research Report 276225, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    24. Jackson, Margot I., 2015. "Early childhood WIC participation, cognitive development and academic achievement," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 126(C), pages 145-153.
    25. Mitrut, Andreea & Tudor, Simona, 2018. "Bridging the gap for Roma: The effects of an ethnically targeted program on prenatal care and child health," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 165(C), pages 114-132.

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