Journal of Family and Economic Issues

, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 172–184 | Cite as

Younger Siblings Can Be Good for Your Health: An Examination of Spillover Benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

  • Christina RobinsonEmail author
Original Paper


The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is a food assistance program designed to help pregnant (or postpartum) women and young children consume a nutritious diet. With WIC’s emphasis on providing healthy foods, and food being (generally) a communal commodity, age-ineligible children may benefit from living with a WIC participant. This paper used data from the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to examine whether age-ineligible children who lived in WIC households were in better health than similar children who lived in households that did not participate in the program. Results suggested that older males received a health benefit as a result of living in a WIC household; however, no similar effect was found for younger males or for female children.


Child health WIC 

JEL Classification




I am grateful to Nicole M. Coomer, Ardeshir Dalal, Jonathan Gilbert, Taylor Hennessy, Reed Neil Olsen, Sharmistha Self, and two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments and suggestions. All remaining errors are my own.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsMissouri State UniversitySpringfieldUSA

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