UC Davis Agricultural and Resource Economics

ARE at AAEA: Xuemei Li: Impact of EBT Transition on WIC Participation

July 31, 2018

Time: 2:45 p.m. Monday, Aug. 6
Location: Virginia B / Session #1062 / The Many Facets of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program


The WIC participation rate has been declining since 2010. Evidence suggests the low participation rate results in part from participant dissatisfaction with the benefit delivery system. The WIC Reauthorization Act of 2010 requires all WIC state agencies to implement Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) by October 1, 2020. The EBT transition reduces WIC participants' transaction cost and could potentially alleviate the negative stigma associated with benefits redemption. The hope is that the implementation of EBT could incentivize more eligible people to join the program. This paper uses the Oklahoma WIC benefits issuance and redemption data to study the impact of EBT transition on WIC participation. We find no relationship between EBT transition and WIC participation.

*This is information about one of the 17 people from ARE with a presentation at the 2018 AAEA Annual Meeting Aug. 5–7 in Washington, D.C.


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