Inside The War on Poverty: The Impact of Food Stamps on Birth Outcomes


Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, Douglas Almond, Hilary Hoynes


birth outcomes, food stamps, infant health, safety net


The Review of Economics and Statistics

Year Published:


Policy Summary

This paper evaluates the health impacts of the Food Stamp Program (FSP) among women exposed to FSP three months prior to birth, and concludes that the sizable increase in income from FSP improved outcomes for both whites and African Americans, with larger impacts for African American mothers. These findings may be used to inform policy by pointing to the benefits of exogenous increases in income during pregnancy on birth outcomes as a way to improve infant health.

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