Li, Xuemei

May, 2022

By: Li, Xuemei ; Saitone, Tina L. ; Sexton, Richard J.
The Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program has changed its food benefit issuance method from paper vouchers to electronic benefit transfer (EBT). WIC participation among the eligible population base has been declining since 2010, and EBT has been viewed as a way to arrest the decline. We utilize county-level WIC data from Oklahoma to analyze the impact of EBT on participation and food cost. We find no significant effect on program participation due to the EBT transition, but EBT reduced average participant food costs about $8.18/month, the equivalent of $56 million annually if similar savings apply nationally.