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Interstate Variation In Wic Food Package Costs: The Role Of Food Prices, Caseload Composition, And Cost-Containment Practices


  • Davis, David E.
  • Leibtag, Ephraim S.


Food prices within States affect average monthly costs of State food benefits packages provided by the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) more than variations in WIC caseload composition do. In addition, cost-containment practices by State WIC agencies provide different levels of cost savings in different areas, which also contributes to interstate variation in benefits package costs. This study is one of the few to examine the degree to which food prices, caseloads, and cost containment practices influence costs of State WIC food benefits packages. Because few data exist on the actual food items that WIC participants purchase, the study used a scanner dataset of supermarket transactions and other sources to estimate the average monthly cost of WIC food benefits in several areas.

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  • Davis, David E. & Leibtag, Ephraim S., 2005. "Interstate Variation In Wic Food Package Costs: The Role Of Food Prices, Caseload Composition, And Cost-Containment Practices," Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Reports 33811, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:uersfa:33811

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kantor, Linda Scott & Lipton, Kathryn & Manchester, Alden & Oliveira, Victor, 1997. "Estimating and Addressing America's Food Losses," Food Review: The Magazine of Food Economics, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, vol. 20(1).
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    Cited by:

    1. Jacknowitz, Alison & Tiehen, Laura, 2010. "WIC Participation Patterns: An Investigation of Delayed Entry and Early Exit," Economic Research Report 102759, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    2. David E. Davis, 2012. "Bidding for WIC Infant Formula Contracts: Do Non-WIC Customers Subsidize WIC Customers?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 94(1), pages 80-96.
    3. Oliveira, Victor & Frazao, Elizabeth, 2015. "The WIC Program: Background, Trends, and Economic Issues, 2015 Edition," Economic Information Bulletin 197543, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    4. Volpe, Richard & Saitone, Tina & Sexton, Richard, 2014. "Cost Containment in the WIC Program: Vendor Peer Groups and Reimbursement Rates," Economic Research Report 183224, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    5. David Davis, 2014. "Buyer Alliances as Countervailing Power in WIC Infant-Formula Auctions," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 45(2), pages 121-138, September.
    6. Nord, Mark & Leibtag, Ephraim, 2005. "Is the 'Cost of Enough Food' Lower in Rural Areas?," The Review of Regional Studies, Southern Regional Science Association, vol. 35(3), pages 291-310.


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