WIC participation and maternal behavior: Breastfeeding and work leave

Lindsey Rose Bullinger, Tami Gurley-Calvez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


We examine the effects of the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program on breastfeeding outcomes and maternal employment decisions. This research expands the existing literature using an alternative identification strategy and a broader set of outcomes. Using data from the Infant Feeding Practices Study II, we control for selection bias into WIC using the variation in food prices as an instrumental variable. The results of this study are robust to a number of specification and falsification tests. We find WIC decreases exclusive breastfeeding by nearly 50% and increases work leave duration by over 20%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)158-172
Number of pages15
JournalContemporary Economic Policy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Public Administration


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