Panel: Building Blocks: How Social Support Systems are Key to Improving Child Health
(Family and Child Policy)

Friday, November 3, 2017: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
Stetson BC (Hyatt Regency Chicago)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Panel Organizers:  Jillian West, Urban Institute
Panel Chairs:  Mona Shah, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Discussants:  Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, Northwestern University and Genevieve Kenney, Urban Institute

The Lifecycle Benefits of an Influential Early Childhood Program
Duncan Ermini Leaf1, Jorge Luis Garcia2, James Heckman2, Maria Jose Prados1 and Dana Goldman1, (1)University of Southern California, (2)University of Chicago

State Spending and Child Health
Lisa Dubay, Laudan Aron, Timothy Waidmann and Anuj Gangopadhyaya, Urban Institute

The Effect of California's Paid Family Leave Law on Breastfeeding, Immunizations, and Well Child Visits
Jessica Pac1, Ann Bartel1, Christopher Ruhm2 and Jane Waldfogel1, (1)Columbia University, (2)University of Virginia

There is emerging evidence that policies and programs outside of the health care system influence health. In this panel we will use program, city, state, and national data sets to examine how social support systems foster better health among our most important—and often most vulnerable—population: children. We will examine the effects of high-quality, birth-to-five child programming, universal public pre-kindergarten, paid family leave programs, and state spending choices on health. The first paper examines the impact of two comprehensive early childhood programs on the adult health of enrollees who were randomly assigned to these programs. The second paper assesses the impact of New York City’s universal public pre-kindergarten program on health care use and detection of developmental delays and hearing and vision problems and the prevalence of influenza using a difference-in regression discontinuity design. The third paper examines the effects of the California’s paid family leave law on breastfeeding, the child’s receipt of well-baby care and immunizations, and maternal mental health using a quasi-experimental pre-post design with a comparison group. The final paper examines how state policies on health care, education, income support and other spending categories impact a variety of child health measures using a quasi-experimental design that exploits changes within state changes in policy over time. Together the papers from the panel will shed light on the many mechanisms through which non-health sector policies and programs can influence child and subsequently adult health. All four projects are funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Policies for Action program.

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