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Welfare and the locational choices of new immigrants

  • Madeline Zavodny

The 1996 welfare law ends most noncitizens' eligibility for federally funded public assistance programs and allows states to cut off payments under other welfare programs to noncitizens. If some states choose to continue extending benefits while others terminate payments to immigrants, interstate differentials in welfare generosity will widen. Potential policy differences create concern that states that continue to offer benefits to immigrants will become welfare magnets. ; In this article, Madeline Zavodny examines whether welfare generosity is correlated with the number of new immigrants arriving in a state in 1982 and 1992. The data indicate that welfare payments are not correlated with immigration levels; rather, the presence of earlier immigrants is the primary determinant of the locational choices of new immigrants.

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File URL: http://www.dallasfed.org/assets/documents/research/er/1997/er9702a.pdf
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Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas in its journal Economic and Financial Policy Review.

Volume (Year): (1997)
Issue (Month): Q II ()
Pages: 2-10

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedder:y:1997:i:qii:p:2-10
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  1. Borjas, George J, 1999. "Immigration and Welfare Magnets," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(4), pages 607-37, October.
  2. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas & Newey, Whitney & Rosen, Harvey S, 1988. "Estimating Vector Autoregressions with Panel Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(6), pages 1371-95, November.
  3. Buckley, F. H., 1996. "The political economy of immigration policies," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 81-99, March.
  4. 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.
  5. 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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