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U.S. Safety Net Programs and Early Life Skills Formation: Results from a Prospective Longitudinal Cohort Study
 
Corneliu Bolbocean, Frances A. Tylavsky, James E. West
 
 
Abstract:
A large body of literature suggests that the first years of life are critical for long-term economic, health and social outcomes. However, the effect of public programs on early life skills formation is largely unknown due to data limitations. In this paper we use novel data from a large longitudinal prospective cohort study to estimate the effects of WIC, SNAP, and home visitation programs on early life outcomes up to two years of age. We find that participation in these programs has a positive and statistically significant effect on language development and boosts early life noncognitive outcomes.