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The Role of Welfare and Space in the Migration of the Poor

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  • Brian Cushing

    ()
    (Department of Economics, West Virginia University)

Abstract

This study investigates whether interstate differences in welfare benefits affected destination choices of low-income households in the United States during the 1985-90 period. It considers place-to-place migration decisions of poor single-parent females within a conditional logit framework. The research develops an array of variables that add a substantial spatial component to the analysis. The empirical results reconcile conclusions of recent academic literature with the views of state policy officials, but in a somewhat unexpected way. This study finds only modest evidence of a welfare magnet effect, and only for contiguous states. On the other hand, the study strongly confirms the importance of space and connections between places when explaining migration of the poor.

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File URL: http://rri.wvu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/cushingwp2005-8.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Regional Research Institute, West Virginia University in its series Working Papers with number 200508.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rri:wpaper:200508

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Postal: 886 Chestnut Ridge Road, P.O. Box 6825, Morgantown, WV 26506-6825
Phone: 304 293 2896
Fax: 304 293 6699
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Web page: http://rri.wvu.edu/research/working-papers/
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Related research

Keywords: welfare; migration; regional; logit;

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References

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  1. Kenneth Train, 2003. "Discrete Choice Methods with Simulation," Online economics textbooks, SUNY-Oswego, Department of Economics, number emetr2, January.
  2. Jan K. Brueckner, 1999. "Welfare Reform and the Race to the Bottom: Theory and Evidence," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 66(2), pages 505-525, January.
  3. Cushing, Brian J, 1987. "Location-Specific Amenities, Topography, and Population Migration," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 74-85, July.
  4. Phillip B. Levine & David J. Zimmerman, 1999. "An empirical analysis of the welfare magnet debate using the NLSY," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 391-409.
  5. Enchautegui, Maria E, 1997. "Welfare Payments and Other Economic Determinants of Female Migration," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(3), pages 529-54, July.
  6. Blank, Rebecca M., 1988. "The effect of welfare and wage levels on the location decisions of female-headed households," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 186-211, September.
  7. Moffitt, Robert, 1992. "Incentive Effects of the U.S. Welfare System: A Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(1), pages 1-61, March.
  8. Richard Cebula & James Koch, 1989. "Welfare policies and migration of the poor in the United States: An empirical note," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 61(2), pages 171-176, May.
  9. Terra McKinnish, 2005. "Importing the Poor: Welfare Magnetism and Cross-Border Welfare Migration," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(1).
  10. Bartel, Ann P, 1989. "Where Do the New U.S. Immigrants Live?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(4), pages 371-91, October.
  11. 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.
  12. Paul S. Davies & Michael J. Greenwood & Haizheng Li, 2001. "A Conditional Logit Approach to U.S. State-to-State Migration," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(2), pages 337-360.
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