Inside the war on poverty: The impact of food stamps on birth outcomes

Douglas Almond*, Hilary W. Hoynes, Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

145 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper evaluates the health impacts of a signature initiative of the War on Poverty: the introduction of the modern Food Stamp Program (FSP). Using variation in the month FSP began operating in each U.S. county, we find that pregnancies exposed to FSP three months prior to birth yielded deliveries with increased birth weight, with the largest gains at the lowest birth weights. We also find small but statistically insignificant improvements in neonatal mortality. We conclude that the sizable increase in income from FSP improved birth outcomes for both whites and African Americans, with larger impacts for African American mothers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-403
Number of pages17
JournalReview of Economics and Statistics
Volume93
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2011

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics

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