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Does Welfare Policy Affect Residential Choices? Evidence from a Natural Experiment

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Abstract

This paper studies how changes in welfare benefit levels affect welfare recipients’ residential choices. Although several empirical studies have stressed that welfare policy may affect residential choices of welfare recipients, few studies have simultaneously taken into account that residential choices of welfare recipients also affect welfare policy. The main contribution of this paper is to address this policy endogeneity by utilizing a policy reform as a natural experiment. The results show that welfare policy exerts a nontrivial effect on residential choices of welfare recipients. Moreover, I show that ignoring the policy endogeneity may give rise to a downward bias in the estimated migration responses.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Research Department of Statistics Norway in its series Discussion Papers with number 503.

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Date of creation: May 2007
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Handle: RePEc:ssb:dispap:503

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Keywords: Welfare Benefits; Migration; Policy Endogeneity;

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  1. Wildasin, David E, 1991. "Income Redistribution in a Common Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 757-74, September.
  2. P. B. Levine & D. J. Zimmerman, . "An empirical analysis of the welfare magnet debate using the NLSY," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1098-96, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  3. Terra McKinnish, 2005. "Importing the Poor: Welfare Magnetism and Cross-Border Welfare Migration," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(1).
  4. Dahlberg, Matz & Edmark, Karin, 2004. "Is there a "Race-to-the-Bottom" in the Setting of Welfare Benefit Levels? Evidence from a Policy Intervention," Working Paper Series 2004:19, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  5. Fiva, Jon H. & Rattso, Jorn, 2006. "Welfare competition in Norway: Norms and expenditures," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 202-222, March.
  6. Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 1994. "Unnatural Experiments? Estimating the Incidence of Endogenous Policies," NBER Working Papers 4956, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. McKinnish, Terra, 2007. "Welfare-induced migration at state borders: New evidence from micro-data," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(3-4), pages 437-450, April.
  8. Federico Revelli, 2004. "Performance Rating and Yardstick Competition in Social Service Provision," CESifo Working Paper Series 1270, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. Meyer, Bruce D, 1995. "Natural and Quasi-experiments in Economics," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(2), pages 151-61, April.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Alejandro Gaviria & Carlos Medina & Jorge Tamayo, 2010. "Assessing the Link between Adolescent Fertility and Urban Crime," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 006860, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
  2. Edmark, Karin, 2007. "Effects of work requirements on welfare migration," Working Paper Series 2007:29, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.

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