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WIC Participation Patterns: An Investigation of Delayed Entry and Early Exit

Author

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  • Jacknowitz, Alison
  • Tiehen, Laura

Abstract

USDA’s Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides nutritious foods, nutrition counseling, and referrals to health and other social services to low-income women and their infants/children up to age 5. Despite the health benefits of WIC participation, many eligible women do not participate during pregnancy, and many households exit WIC when a participating child turns 1 year old. The authors of this report use the first two waves of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort (ECLS-B) to understand these transitions into and out of WIC. Findings show that households that are more economically advantaged are more likely to delay entry into the program or exit after a child turns 1 year old. Some of the mothers exiting the program reported that WIC requires too much effort and that its benefits are not worth the time (26.2 percent of those exiting) or that they have scheduling and transportation problems (almost 10 percent of those exiting), suggesting that the costs of participation may be a barrier to continued WIC participation.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:uersrr:102759
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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/102759
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. repec:oup:revage:v:27:y:2005:i:3:p:433-438. is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Marianne Bitler & Craig Gundersen & Grace S. Marquis, 2005. "Are WIC Nonrecipients at Less Nutritional Risk Than Recipients? An Application of the Food Security Measure," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 27(3), pages 433-438.
    4. Marianne P. Bitler & Janet Currie, 2005. "Does WIC work? The effects of WIC on pregnancy and birth outcomes," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(1), pages 73-91.
    5. Marianne P. Bitler & Janet Currie, 2005. "The changing association between prenatal participation in WIC and birth outcomes in New York City: What does it mean?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(4), pages 687-690.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Thesia I. Garner & Charles Hokayem, 2012. "Supplemental Poverty Measure Thresholds: Imputing School Lunch and WIC Benefits to the Consumer Expenditure Survey Using the Current Population Survey," Working Papers 457, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
    2. Manan Roy, 2012. "Identifying the Effect of WIC on Infant Health When Participation is Endogenous and Misreported," Departmental Working Papers 1202, Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women; Infants; and Children; WIC; participation dynamics; Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety; Food Security and Poverty;

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