IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The WIC Program: Background, Trends, and Economic Issues, 2009 Edition


  • Oliveira, Victor
  • Frazao, Elizabeth


The mission of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is to safeguard the health of low-income women, infants, and children through age 4 who are at nutritional risk. WIC provides nutritious foods to supplement diets, nutrition education, and referrals to health care and other social services. Administered by USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), almost half of all infants and about a quarter of all children ages 1-4 in the United States participate in the program. WIC is USDA’s third-largest food and nutrition assistance program, accounting for 10 percent of total Federal spending on food and nutrition assistance. This report describes the WIC program—how it works, its history, program trends, and the characteristics of the population it serves. It also examines current issues facing WIC, focusing mainly on those with important economic implications.

Suggested Citation

  • Oliveira, Victor & Frazao, Elizabeth, 2009. "The WIC Program: Background, Trends, and Economic Issues, 2009 Edition," Economic Research Report 55839, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:uersrr:55839

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Oliveira, Victor & Davis, David E., 2006. "Recent Trends and Economic Issues in the WIC Infant Formula Rebate Program," MPRA Paper 6657, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. 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.
    3. Weimer, Jon P., 2001. "The Economic Benefits Of Breastfeeding: A Review And Analysis," Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Reports 33813, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Lisa M. Powell & Frank J. Chaloupka, 2011. "Economic Contextual Factors and Child Body Mass Index," NBER Chapters,in: Economic Aspects of Obesity, pages 127-144 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. 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.
    3. Todd, Jessica E. & Newman, Constance & Ver Ploeg, Michele, 2010. "Changing Participation in Food Assistance Programs Among Low-Income Children After Welfare Reform," Economic Research Report 58613, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    4. Kinsey, Jean D., 2013. "The economics of federal food programs: Weighing the costs and benefits," C-FARE Reports 156193, Council on Food, Agricultural, and Resource Economics (C-FARE).
    5. Hoynes, Hilary & Page, Marianne & Stevens, Ann Huff, 2011. "Can targeted transfers improve birth outcomes?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7), pages 813-827.
    6. 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.
    7. Han, Euna & Powell, Lisa M. & Isgor, Zeynep, 2012. "Supplemental nutrition assistance program and body weight outcomes: The role of economic contextual factors," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(12), pages 1874-1881.
    8. Jackson, Margot I., 2015. "Early childhood WIC participation, cognitive development and academic achievement," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 126(C), pages 145-153.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:uersrr:55839. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.