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The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

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  • Individual Author: Hoynes, Hilary W.; Page, Marianne E. ; Huff Stevens, Ann
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2009

    The goal of federal food and nutrition programs in the United States is to improve the nutritional well-being and health of low income families. A large body of literature evaluates the extent to which the Supplemental Program for Women Infants and Children (WIC) has accomplished this goal, but most studies have been based on research designs that compare program participants to non-participants. If selection into these programs is non-random then such comparisons will lead to biased estimates of the program’s true effects. In this study we use the rollout of the WIC program across counties to estimate the impact of the program on infant health. We find that the implementation of WIC lead to an increase in average birthweight and a decrease in the fraction of births that are classified as low birthweight. We find no evidence that these estimates are driven by changes in fertility. Back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest that the initiation of WIC lead to a ten percent increase in the birthweight of infants born to participating mothers. (author abstract)

    The goal of federal food and nutrition programs in the United States is to improve the nutritional well-being and health of low income families. A large body of literature evaluates the extent to which the Supplemental Program for Women Infants and Children (WIC) has accomplished this goal, but most studies have been based on research designs that compare program participants to non-participants. If selection into these programs is non-random then such comparisons will lead to biased estimates of the program’s true effects. In this study we use the rollout of the WIC program across counties to estimate the impact of the program on infant health. We find that the implementation of WIC lead to an increase in average birthweight and a decrease in the fraction of births that are classified as low birthweight. We find no evidence that these estimates are driven by changes in fertility. Back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest that the initiation of WIC lead to a ten percent increase in the birthweight of infants born to participating mothers. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Kreider, Brent; Pepper, John V.; Roy, Manan
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2012

    The Women, Infants, and Children Program (WIC) is considered a crucial component of the social safety net in the United States, yet there is limited supporting evidence on the effects of WIC on the nutritional well-being and food security of infants and young children. Two key identification problems have been especially difficult to address. First, the decision to take up WIC is endogenous as households are not randomly assigned to the program; recipients are likely to differ from nonrecipients in unobserved ways (e.g., prior health) that are related to associated outcomes. Second, survey respondents often fail to report receiving public assistance, and the existing literature has uncovered substantial degrees of systematic misclassification of WIC participation. Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), we apply recently developed partial identification methodologies to jointly account for these two identification problems in a single framework. Under relatively weak assumptions, we find that WIC reduces the prevalence of child food...

    The Women, Infants, and Children Program (WIC) is considered a crucial component of the social safety net in the United States, yet there is limited supporting evidence on the effects of WIC on the nutritional well-being and food security of infants and young children. Two key identification problems have been especially difficult to address. First, the decision to take up WIC is endogenous as households are not randomly assigned to the program; recipients are likely to differ from nonrecipients in unobserved ways (e.g., prior health) that are related to associated outcomes. Second, survey respondents often fail to report receiving public assistance, and the existing literature has uncovered substantial degrees of systematic misclassification of WIC participation. Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), we apply recently developed partial identification methodologies to jointly account for these two identification problems in a single framework. Under relatively weak assumptions, we find that WIC reduces the prevalence of child food insecurity by at least 5.5 percentage points and very low food security by at least 1.5 percentage points. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Martinez-Schiferl, Michael
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2012

    The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides low-income pregnant women, postpartum mothers, infants, and children up to age 5 with select foods, nutrition education, and health care and government service referrals. WIC aims to improve the health of participants and prevent later health problems. This brief summarizes key features of the WIC program, including eligibility rules, participation, benefits, and administration. It presents the 2009 estimates of WIC eligibility and coverage for the nation and the states. Also summarized are recent improvements in WIC administrative practices and nutrition outcomes. (author abstract)

    The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides low-income pregnant women, postpartum mothers, infants, and children up to age 5 with select foods, nutrition education, and health care and government service referrals. WIC aims to improve the health of participants and prevent later health problems. This brief summarizes key features of the WIC program, including eligibility rules, participation, benefits, and administration. It presents the 2009 estimates of WIC eligibility and coverage for the nation and the states. Also summarized are recent improvements in WIC administrative practices and nutrition outcomes. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Swann, Christopher A.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2011

    WIC participation among eligible children is significantly lower than participation among infants. This paper explores possible explanations for the decline in participation including the need for recertification and changes in family composition. Discrete time hazard rate models are used to study the timing of exit from the WIC program for children who participate as infants. The models are estimated using the 2004 Survey of Income and Program Participation. The results suggest that the risk of exit from the WIC program is higher in recertification months than other months and for families with more children in the age range for WIC eligibility. Additionally, comparisons to results obtained from the 2001 SIPP suggest that changes in the interviewing methodology introduced in the 2004 SIPP reduced the magnitude of seam bias in WIC spells. (author abstract)

    WIC participation among eligible children is significantly lower than participation among infants. This paper explores possible explanations for the decline in participation including the need for recertification and changes in family composition. Discrete time hazard rate models are used to study the timing of exit from the WIC program for children who participate as infants. The models are estimated using the 2004 Survey of Income and Program Participation. The results suggest that the risk of exit from the WIC program is higher in recertification months than other months and for families with more children in the age range for WIC eligibility. Additionally, comparisons to results obtained from the 2001 SIPP suggest that changes in the interviewing methodology introduced in the 2004 SIPP reduced the magnitude of seam bias in WIC spells. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Castner, Laura; Mabli, James; Sykes, Julie
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2009

    The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides nutritious foods that promote the health of low-income pregnant women, new mothers, infants, and preschool children. Infants and children up to age five from low-income families and found to be at nutritional risk are eligible. Low-income women found to be at nutritional risk are also eligible for WIC throughout their pregnancy and for up to one year postpartum (limited to six months for mothers who are not breastfeeding). In some States, women, infants, and children in households that participate in other assistance programs are automatically income eligible. In 2008, an average of 8.7 million women, infants, and children participated in the program each month. Infants and children compose 75 percent of the WIC population.

    WIC enrollment and departure by infants and children are largely affected by changes in eligibility related to age. However, other factors affect eligibility and participation as well, since many children drop out of the program before their eligibility period...

    The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides nutritious foods that promote the health of low-income pregnant women, new mothers, infants, and preschool children. Infants and children up to age five from low-income families and found to be at nutritional risk are eligible. Low-income women found to be at nutritional risk are also eligible for WIC throughout their pregnancy and for up to one year postpartum (limited to six months for mothers who are not breastfeeding). In some States, women, infants, and children in households that participate in other assistance programs are automatically income eligible. In 2008, an average of 8.7 million women, infants, and children participated in the program each month. Infants and children compose 75 percent of the WIC population.

    WIC enrollment and departure by infants and children are largely affected by changes in eligibility related to age. However, other factors affect eligibility and participation as well, since many children drop out of the program before their eligibility period expires. In this study we focus on four events related to the dynamics of WIC participation by eligible infants and children: entry, exit, continuity of participation, and re-entry. We also examined trigger events that led to entry into the program and exit from it. We conduct the study in two stages. In the first stage, a descriptive analysis, we examine the dynamics of WIC participation for infants and children, from 2001 to 2003, including rates of entry among low-income infants and children; age of the infant or child at first entry; the percentage that continue to participate from one age to another; and age of the infant or child at exit. In the second stage, a multivariate analysis, we explore the factors associated with their entry into and exit from the program.
    Periodic examination of these WIC participation dynamics leads to a better understanding of overall trends in the size of the WIC caseload and the factors that affect participation. In addition, this analysis may help WIC outreach programs in targeting those who tend to enroll late or not at all, and in understanding why some participants leave WIC when they remain eligible for the program. (author abstract)

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