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Recent Trends and Economic Issues in the WIC Infant Formula Rebate Program

Author

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  • Oliveira, Victor
  • Davis, David E.

Abstract

Over half of all infant formula sold in the United States is purchased through the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Typically, WIC State agencies obtain substantial discounts in the form of rebates from infant formula manufacturers for each can of formula purchased through the program. The cost to WIC for each can of formula provided through the program has two components: (1) net wholesale price, which is equal to the wholesale price of formula minus the amount of the rebate; and (2)retail markup, which is equal to the retail price minus the wholesale price. This analysis suggests that retail markup accounts for most of the cost to WIC of infant formula in most States. However, both cost components have increased over time. The recent increase in both net wholesale price and retail markup coincides with the introduction of higher priced supplemented infant formulas. Conditions may change after the market adjusts to these new formulas.

Suggested Citation

  • Oliveira, Victor & Davis, David E., 2006. "Recent Trends and Economic Issues in the WIC Infant Formula Rebate Program," Economic Research Report 7228, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:uersrr:7228
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    File URL: http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/7228/files/er060022.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Oliveira, Victor & Prell, Mark A. & Smallwood, David M. & Frazao, Elizabeth, 2004. "Wic And The Retail Price Of Infant Formula," Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Reports 33873, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    2. Prell, Mark A., 2004. "An Economic Model Of Wic, The Infant Formula Rebate Program, And The Retail Price Of Infant Formula," Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Reports 33879, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    3. Committee on Dietary Risk Assessment in the WIC Program of which Ronette Briefel is a member, "undated". "Dietary Risk Assessment in the WIC Program," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 64eab07403df4af382a16604b, Mathematica Policy Research.
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    Cited by:

    1. Oliveira, Victor & Frazao, Elizabeth & Smallwood, David M., 2011. "The Infant Formula Market: Consequences of a Change in the WIC Contract Brand," Economic Research Report 118020, 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. Stefania Albanesi & Claudia Olivetti, 2016. "Gender Roles and Medical Progress," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 124(3), pages 650-695.
    4. 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.
    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. 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.
    7. Oliveira, Victor & Davis, David, 2015. "Manufacturers’ Bids for WIC Infant Formula Rebate Contracts, 2003-2013," Economic Information Bulletin 206808, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    8. Saitone, Tina L. & Sexton, Richard J. & Volpe, Richard J., III, 2012. "Markups and Promotional Patterns of California WIC-Authorized Foods," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124927, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety;

    JEL classification:

    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs

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