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Migration consequences of welfare reform

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  • Kaestner, Robert
  • Kaushal, Neeraj
  • Van Ryzin, Gregg

Abstract

In this paper, we investigate whether or not recent state and federal changes in welfare policy -- the imposition of time-limited benefits, the use of financial sanctions for non-compliance, and the setting of strict work eligibility rules -- affect the migration of low-educated unmarried women. Estimates of welfare's effect on migration reveal that welfare policy does indeed affect migration. Recent changes in policy that have made public assistance a less attractive alternative are associated with greater migration among low-educated unmarried women. Welfare reform has motivated low-educated women to move greater distances more frequently, and to combine such moves with employment. Estimates also indicate that welfare reform is associated with more local (i.e., within county) changes in residential location that are associated with employment, although estimates of this effect were not robust to estimation method. The close link between residential moves and employment in the post-reform period is consistent with the idea that welfare reform has motivated people to move for economic reasons such as better employment opportunities. This evidence suggests that the traditional way of thinking about the effect of welfare on migration -- as a strategic move to obtain higher benefits -- is inadequate.
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  • Kaestner, Robert & Kaushal, Neeraj & Van Ryzin, Gregg, 2003. "Migration consequences of welfare reform," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 357-376, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:53:y:2003:i:3:p:357-376
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    Cited by:

    1. Berthold, Norbert & von Berchem, Sascha, 2005. "Hartz IV: eine vertane Chance nutzen," Discussion Paper Series 79, Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg, Chair of Economic Order and Social Policy.
    2. Norbert Berthold, 2005. "Mehr Effizienz und Gerechtigkeit: Wege zur Entflechtung des Sozialstaates," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 6(2), pages 233-254, May.
    3. repec:eee:regeco:v:66:y:2017:i:c:p:119-131 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Snarr, Hal W. & Burkey, Mark L., 2006. "A Preliminary Investigation of Welfare Migration Induced by Time Limits," Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy, Mid-Continent Regional Science Association, vol. 36(2).
    5. Pedersen, Peder J. & Pytlikova, Mariola & Smith, Nina, 2004. "Selection or Network Effects? Migration Flows into 27 OECD Countries, 1990-2000," IZA Discussion Papers 1104, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Karin Edmark, 2009. "Migration Effects of Welfare Benefit Reform," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 111(3), pages 511-526, September.
    7. 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.
    8. Gordon Jong & Deborah Graefe & Tanja St. Pierre, 2005. "Welfare reform and interstate migration of poor families," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 42(3), pages 469-496, August.
    9. Jon Bakija & Joel Slemrod, 2004. "Do the Rich Flee from High State Taxes? Evidence from Federal Estate Tax Returns," NBER Working Papers 10645, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Anita Alves Pena, 2014. "Undocumented Immigrants And The Welfare State: The Case Of Regional Migration And U.S. Agricultural Labor," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(1), pages 96-113, January.
    11. Korenman Sanders & Joyce Ted & Kaestner Robert & Walper Jennifer, 2006. "What Did the "Illegitimacy Bonus" Reward?," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 1-36, April.
    12. Berthold, Norbert & Fricke, Holger & Kullas, Matthias, 2005. "Standortwettbewerb der Bundesländer," Discussion Paper Series 80, Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg, Chair of Economic Order and Social Policy.
    13. Berthold, Norbert & von Berchem, Sascha, 2005. "Lokale Solidarität: die Zukunft der Sozialhilfe?," Discussion Paper Series 76, Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg, Chair of Economic Order and Social Policy.
    14. Jofre-Monseny, Jordi, 2014. "The effects of unemployment protection on migration in lagging regions," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 73-86.
    15. Alm, James & Enami, Ali, 2017. "Do government subsidies to low-income individuals affect interstate migration? Evidence from the Massachusetts Health Care Reform," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 119-131.
    16. Berthold, Norbert & von Berchem, Sascha, 2003. "Die Sozialhilfe zwischen Effizienz und Gerechtigkeit: wie kann der Spagat gelingen?," Discussion Paper Series 62, Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg, Chair of Economic Order and Social Policy.
    17. Berthold, Norbert & Fricke, Holger, 2009. "Die Bundesländer im Standortwettbewerb," Discussion Paper Series 106, Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg, Chair of Economic Order and Social Policy.
    18. Luojia Hu & Robert Kaestner & Bhashkar Mazumder & Sarah Miller & Ashley Wong, 2016. "The Effect of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Medicaid Expansions on Financial Wellbeing," NBER Working Papers 22170, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Kennan, John & Walker, James R., 2010. "Wages, welfare benefits and migration," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 156(1), pages 229-238, May.
    20. Berthold, Norbert & Fricke, Holger, 2003. "Deutschland im Herbst 2003 - blockierter Standortwettbewerb der Bundesländer," Discussion Paper Series 69, Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg, Chair of Economic Order and Social Policy.
    21. Berthold, Norbert & von Berchem, Sascha, 2002. "Sozialhilfe im wettbewerblichen Föderalismus: Erfahrungen der USA, Lehren für Deutschland," Discussion Paper Series 58, Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg, Chair of Economic Order and Social Policy.
    22. Sasser, Alicia C., 2010. "Voting with their feet: Relative economic conditions and state migration patterns," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2-3), pages 122-135, May.
    23. Nathan Berg & Todd Gabel, 2013. "Effects of New Welfare Reform Strategies on Welfare Participation: Microdata Estimates from Canada," Working Papers 1304, University of Otago, Department of Economics, revised Feb 2013.
    24. 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.

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    JEL classification:

    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers

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