Publication Date

April 2009

Advisor(s)

Rayack, Wendy

Major

Economics (ECON)

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

This study investigates the relationship between the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and newborn's birth weight. The WIC program provides food packages and nutritional counseling to low income pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum women, and their children up to age five. This study focuses on the support the program provides to low income pregnant women at nutritional risk. Recognizing that these mothers have a high probability of delivering low birth weight infants, the WIC program aims to improve their birth outcomes. We make use of a novel dataset to show that the WIC program is fulfilling its goals by increasing weight at birth and resulting in possible substantial cost savings. We also observe that the impact of the program is not uniform but is affected by the characteristics of the recipients.

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