Econ Active Research Lunch - Lunch @ 11:30am, Presentation @ 12L00pm in UH850
Presenter: Hyunkyu Ko
Increased WIC Eligibility and Birth Outcomes
I provide quasi-experimental evidence on the effect of WIC on birth outcomes using policy variation created by adjunctive eligibility, which allows expansions in Medicaid or SNAP eligibility to affect WIC eligibility. I employ the ‘Difference in differences’ estimation strategy to identify the effects of WIC and Medicaid separately. The results show that a one percentage point increase in WIC eligibility increases average birth weight by 0.495g, which corresponds to an estimated treatment on the treated effect of 23.6g. WIC also reduces the incidence of Small for Gestational Age (SGA) by 0.021 percentage points which corresponds to a treatment on the treated effect of 10.4%. For Medicaid, a one percentage point increase in Medicaid eligibility reduces the incidence of very low birth weight by 0.002 percentage points and preterm birth by 0.015 percentage points. I find little evidence that there is a strong causal link between WIC and low birth weight or preterm birth; however, most literature on WIC found a positive causation.