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Identifying the Effect of WIC on Infant Health When Participation is Endogenous and Misreported

Author

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  • Manan Roy

    (Southern Methodist University)

Abstract

The existing evaluations of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) agree on a beneficial association with birth weight but not necessarily gestation age. Regardless, considerable doubt exists over whether these associations represent a causal relationship. Endogenous selection into WIC, lack of valid exclusion restrictions, and rampant under-reporting of participation are to blame. Here, I utilize the nonparametric bounds method in Kreider et al. (2011) to address both identification problems simultaneously to assess the causal effect of prenatal WIC participation on birth outcomes. In addition, I complement the partial identification approach by reporting instrumental variable estimates following Lewbel (2010) to circumvent the need for a traditional instrument. Using data from the ECLS-B, I show that ignoring misreporting and only accounting for self-selection, WIC improves birth weight and, sometimes, gestation age. However, if only one percent of eligible women misreport their participation, well below the expected level of misreporting, the effect of WIC on birth outcomes cannot be signed.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:smu:ecowpa:1202
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Daniel Millimet & Manan Roy, 2015. "Partial identification of the long-run causal effect of food security on child health," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 48(1), pages 83-141, February.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women; Infants; and Children; WIC; Chil- dren; Treatment Effects; Health Outcomes; Instrumental Variables; Partial Identification; Nonparametric Bounds; Classification Error.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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