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An Empirical Analysis of the Welfare Magnet Debate Using the NLSY

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  • Phillip B. Levine
  • David J. Zimmerman

Abstract

This paper examines the extent to which differences in welfare generosity across states leads to interstate migration. Using microdata from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) between 1979 and 1992, we employ a quasi-experimental design that utilizes the categorical eligibility of the welfare system. The pattern of cross-state moves among poor single women with children who are likely to be eligible for benefits is compared to the pattern among other poor households. We find little evidence indicating that welfare-induced migration is a widespread phenomenon.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5264.

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Date of creation: Sep 1995
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Publication status: published as Journal of Population Economics, Vol. 12, no. 3 (1999): 391-409.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5264

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  1. Hoynes, Hilary & MaCurdy, Thomas, 1994. "Has the Decline in Benefits Shortened Welfare Spells?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 43-48, May.
  2. Moffitt, Robert, 1990. "Has State Redistribution Policy Grown More Conservative?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 43(2), pages 123-42, June.
  3. Janet Currie & Jonathan Gruber, 1994. "Saving Babies: The Efficacy and Cost of Recent Expansions of Medicaid Eligibility for Pregnant Women," NBER Working Papers 4644, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Case, A.C. & Hines, J.R.J. & Rosen, H.S., 1989. "Copycatting: Fiscal Policies Of States And Their Neighbors," Papers 37, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper.
  5. repec:fth:harver:1437 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. R. L. Hanson & J. T. Hartman, . "Do welfare magnets attract?," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1028-94, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  7. Cebula, Richard J, 1979. "A Survey of the Literature on the Migration-Impact of State and Local Government Policies," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 34(1), pages 69-84.
  8. P. B. Levine & D. J. Zimmerman, . "The intergenerational correlation in AFDC participation: Welfare trap or poverty trap?," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1100-96, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  9. Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 1994. "Unnatural Experiments? Estimating the Incidence of Endogenous Policies," NBER Working Papers 4956, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. J. R. Walker, . "Migration amoung low-income households: Helping the witch doctors reach consensus," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1031-94, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  11. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416.
  12. Edward M. Gramlich & Deborah S. Laren, 1984. "Migration and Income Redistribution Responsibilities," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 19(4), pages 489-511.
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