WIC Participation and Relative Quality of Household Food Purchases

Wednesday, 25th April, 2018 10:45-12:15
Open-Lab, 4th floor, East Building, Mita Campus, Keio University
This paper examines the effect of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) on the quality of household food purchases using the National Household Food Acquisition and Purchase Survey (FoodAPS) in the US and propensity score matching. Purchase quality was measured using a healthy purchasing index (HPI). Findings indicate that WIC foods explain the improvement in quality of food purchases, not self-selection of more nutrition-conscious households into the program. Households participating in WIC have a higher HPI in comparison to eligible non-participating households. Importantly, this difference is driven entirely by WIC participating households who redeemed WIC foods during the interview week. There was no significant difference between WIC-participants who did not redeem WIC foods and eligible non-participants. The paper also examines whether geographic barriers limit WIC participation. Locations of WIC clinics were added to the already detailed FoodAPS information on food store locations. There is no evidence in this sample that access to clinics is adversely affecting participation nor is there evidence that HPI depends on supermarket access. Finally, a supervised machine learning process supports our main conclusion that WIC-provided foods are the driver of increased HPI, not self-selection of healthier households into the program.

Speaker : Profesor Rodolfo (Rudy) Nayga (University of Arkansas)
Rodolfo M. Nayga, Jr. is Distinguished Professor and Tyson Endowed Chair in Food Policy Economics in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness at University of Arkansas. His research interests are focused on the economics of food policy and quality and on obtaining an understanding of how emerging consumer issues affect food and nutrient consumption/demand, obesity, and public policies.
Panel Data Research Center at Keio University

Language : English
**Everyone is welcome. **

Working paper
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