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Effects of Participation in the WIC Food Assistance Program on Children’s Health and Development: Evidence from NLSY Children


  • L. Kowaleski-Jones
  • G. J. Duncan


This study investigates the effects of maternal participation in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) on birth weight, motor and social skills, and temperament for a national sample of children born between 1990 and 1996 to women participating in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. Sibling fixed effect models are used to account for persistent differences in difficult to measure characteristics of mothers that affect participation in the program. Results indicate that prenatal WIC participation has positive effects on infant birth weight. Fixed effect, but not OLS, estimates suggest that prenatal WIC participation is associated with more positive child temperament.

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  • L. Kowaleski-Jones & G. J. Duncan, "undated". "Effects of Participation in the WIC Food Assistance Program on Children’s Health and Development: Evidence from NLSY Children," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1207-00, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  • Handle: RePEc:wop:wispod:1207-00

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Currie, Janet & Thomas, Duncan, 1995. "Does Head Start Make a Difference?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 341-364, June.
    2. Barbara Devaney & Linda Bilheimer & Jennifer Schore, 1992. "Medicaid costs and birth outcomes: The effects of prenatal WIC participation and the use of prenatal care," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(4), pages 573-592.
    3. Janet Currie, 1998. "The Effect of Welfare on Child Outcomes: What We Know and What We Need to Know," JCPR Working Papers 26, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
    4. James Cramer, 1995. "Racial and Ethnic Differences in Birthweight: The Role of Income and Financial Assistance," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 32(2), pages 231-247, May.
    5. Schwartz, J.B. & Popkin, B.M. & Tognetti, J. & Zohoori, N., 1995. "Does WIC participation improve breast-feeding practices?," American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, vol. 85(5), pages 729-731.
    6. Currie, Janet & Cole, Nancy, 1993. "Welfare and Child Health: The Link between AFDC Participation and Birth Weight," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 971-985, September.
    7. Donald Rose & Jean-Pierre Habicht & Barbara Devaney, "undated". "Household Participation in the Food Stamp and WIC Programs Increases the Nutrient Intakes of Preschool Children," Mathematica Policy Research Reports caa5a3bda073473087339ebbc, Mathematica Policy Research.
    8. Hicks, L.E. & Langham, R.A. & Takenaka, J., 1982. "Cognitive and health measures following early nutritional supplementation: a sibling study," American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, vol. 72(10), pages 1110-1118.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lee, Bong Joo & Mackey-Bilaver, Lucy, 2007. "Effects of WIC and Food Stamp Program participation on child outcomes," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 501-517, April.

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