UC Davis Agricultural and Resource Economics

Charlotte Ambrozek, University of California, Davis

WIC Participant Responses to Vendor Disqualification

Date and Location

Thursday, January 13, 2022, 4:10 PM - 5:30 PM
Online Meeting, Zoom


US food assistance programs require that participants redeem benefits at authorized food retailers. In this paper, I examine how participants' use of their benefits changes if food retailers become unauthorized. Using a novel natural experiment in the WIC authorization of retailers, I find that a participant that loses access to an authorized retailer is less likely to participate in WIC and redeems a smaller share of their WIC benefits. These changes provide insight into the unintended consequences of food assistance program structure and how low-income individuals respond to changes in their food retail choice set.

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