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

  • Manan Roy

    ()

    (Southern Methodist University)

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.

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Paper provided by Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics in its series Departmental Working Papers with number 1202.

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Date of creation: Feb 2012
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Handle: RePEc:smu:ecowpa:1202
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, P.O. Box 750496, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX 75275-0496
Phone: 214-768-2715
Fax: 214-768-1821
Web page: http://www.smu.edu/economics

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  1. Charles F. Manski & John V. Pepper, 1998. "Monotone Instrumental Variables with an Application to the Returns to Schooling," NBER Technical Working Papers 0224, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Kreider, Brent & Hill, Steven C., 2005. "Partially Identifying Treatment Effects with an Application to Covering the Uninsured," Staff General Research Papers 12296, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  3. 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.
  4. Marianne Bitler & Janet Currie, 2004. "Medicaid at Birth, WIC Take Up, and Children's Outcomes," Working Papers 172, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  5. John V. Pepper, 2000. "The Intergenerational Transmission Of Welfare Receipt: A Nonparametric Bounds Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(3), pages 472-488, August.
  6. Brent Kreider & John V. Pepper & Craig Gundersen & Dean Jolliffe, 2012. "Identifying the Effects of SNAP (Food Stamps) on Child Health Outcomes When Participation Is Endogenous and Misreported," Journal of the American Statistical Association, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 107(499), pages 958-975, September.
  7. Gundersen, Craig & Kreider, Brent, 2006. "Food Stamps and Food Insecurity: What Can Be Learned in the Presence of Non-Classical Measurement Error?," Staff General Research Papers 12690, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  8. 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.
  9. Gundersen, Craig & Kreider, Brent & Pepper, John V., 2009. "The Impact of the National School Lunch Program on Child Health: A Nonparametric Bounds Analysis," Staff General Research Papers 13148, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  10. Bruce D. Meyer & Wallace K. C. Mok & James X. Sullivan, 2009. "The Under-Reporting of Transfers in Household Surveys: Its Nature and Consequences," Working Papers 0903, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
  11. Hausman, J. A. & Abrevaya, Jason & Scott-Morton, F. M., 1998. "Misclassification of the dependent variable in a discrete-response setting," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 239-269, September.
  12. Kreider, Brent & Pepper, John V., 2007. "Disability and Employment: Reevaluating the Evidence in Light of Reporting Errors," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 102, pages 432-441, June.
  13. 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.
  14. Figlio, David & Hamersma, Sarah & Roth, Jeffrey, 2009. "Does prenatal WIC participation improve birth outcomes? New evidence from Florida," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1-2), pages 235-245, February.
  15. 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.
  16. Bollinger, Christopher R., 1996. "Bounding mean regressions when a binary regressor is mismeasured," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 387-399, August.
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