Effects of WIC and Food Stamp Program Participation on Child Outcomes
By Lee B, Mackey-Bilaver L, Chin M
This study examines the relationship between WIC and Food Stamp Program participation and young children’s health and maltreatment outcomes, utilizing a unique individual-level longitudinal database linking administrative datasets on WIC and Food Stamp Program (FSP) participation, Medicaid enrollment and claims, and child abuse and neglect reports in Illinois. Using Ordinary Least Square (OLS) methods, the data show that any of the three program participation types (joint WIC and FSP, WIC only, and FSP only) is associated with a lower risk of abuse and neglect reports, and of diagnosis of several nutrition related health problems such as anemia, failure to thrive, and nutritional deficiency. When we control for the possible selection bias using sibling fixed-effects models, the results were essentially unchanged suggesting no evidence of selection bias in the OLS results. The findings are significant indicators of the benefits of WIC and FSP participation among low-income young children. Furthermore, the findings about the lower risk of abuse and neglect is significant because it offers some evidence that participation in programs such as WIC and FSP that offer family supports not directly aimed at preventing child abuse and neglect may protect children.
This research was funded by the USDA Economic Research Service.
March 21, 2018
Lee B, Mackey-Bilaver L, Chin M (2007) Effects of WIC and Food Stamp Program Participation on Child Outcomes. United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service. Available online: https://www.ers.usda.gov/webdocs/publications/86101/ccr-27.pdf?v=43076