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Immigrants, welfare reform, and the economy

Author

Listed:
  • Steven J. Haider

    (Michigan State University)

  • Robert F. Schoeni
  • Yuhua Bao

    (University of California, Los Angeles)

  • Caroline Danielson

    (University of California, Office of the President)

Abstract

The welfare reform bill adopted in the United States in 1996 limited the eligibility of immigrants for several government assistance programs, and early projections estimated that nearly half of the savings associated with the reforms would come from these immigrant restrictions. Several studies have found that subsequent program participation declined more for immigrants relative to natives, seemingly verifying the early projections. However, many of these restrictions were either rescinded by the federal government or superceded by state and local policies. In this paper, we first reproduce earlier findings that show the relative declines in program use among immigrants. We then show that much, but not all, of the relative decline in program use among immigrants can be explained by changing macroeconomic conditions. © 2004 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.

Suggested Citation

  • Steven J. Haider & Robert F. Schoeni & Yuhua Bao & Caroline Danielson, 2004. "Immigrants, welfare reform, and the economy," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(4), pages 745-764.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:23:y:2004:i:4:p:745-764
    DOI: 10.1002/pam.20045
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Magnus Lofstrom & Frank Bean, 2002. "Assessing immigrant policy options: Labor market conditions and postreform declines in immigrants’ receipt of welfare," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 39(4), pages 617-637, November.
    2. Gary Solon & Robert Barsky & Jonathan A. Parker, 1994. "Measuring the Cyclicality of Real Wages: How Important is Composition Bias?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(1), pages 1-25.
    3. Schoeni, R.F. & Blank, R.M., 2000. "What Has Welfare Reform Accomplished? Impacts on Welfare Participation, Employment, Income, Poverty, and Family Structure," Papers 00-02, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
    4. repec:mpr:mprres:1839 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. J. P. Ziliak & D. N. Figlio & E. E. Davis & L. S. Connolly, "undated". "Accounting for the Decline in AFDC Caseloads: Welfare Reform or Economic Growth?," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1151-97, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    6. Rebecca M. Blank, 2002. "Evaluating Welfare Reform in the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1105-1166, December.
    7. Rebecca M. Blank, 1999. "What Goes Up Must Come Down? Explaining Recent Changes in Public Assistance Caseloads," JCPR Working Papers 78, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Cited by:

    1. Jonah B. Gelbach, 2016. "When Do Covariates Matter? And Which Ones, and How Much?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(2), pages 509-543.
    2. Marianne Bitler & Hilary W. Hoynes, 2011. "Immigrants, Welfare Reform, and the U.S. Safety Net," NBER Working Papers 17667, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Laird, Jennifer & Santelli, Isaac & Waldfogel, Jane & Wimer, Christopher, 2018. "Forgoing Food Assistance out of Fear: Simulating the Child Poverty Impact of a Making SNAP a Legal Liability for Immigrants," SocArXiv 6sgpk, Center for Open Science.
    4. Yuri Ostrovsky, 2012. "The dynamics of immigrant participation in entitlement programs: evidence from Canada, 1993–2007," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 45(1), pages 107-136, February.
    5. Dust, Andrew & Orazem, Peter & Wohlgemuth, Darin, 2008. "Rural Immigrant Population Growth, 1950-2000: Waves or Ripples?," Staff General Research Papers Archive 12920, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    6. Kerstin Gerst & Jeffrey Burr, 2011. "Welfare Use Among Older Hispanic Immigrants: The Effect of State and Federal Policy," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 30(1), pages 129-150, February.
    7. East, Chloe N., 2018. "Immigrants’ labor supply response to Food Stamp access," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 202-226.
    8. Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes & Susan L. Averett & Cynthia A. Bansak, 2016. "Welfare reform and immigrant fertility," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 29(3), pages 757-779, July.
    9. Neeraj Kaushal, 2010. "Elderly immigrants' labor supply response to supplemental security income," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(1), pages 137-162.
    10. Roberto Pedace & Christine DuBois, 2012. "Immigration policy and employment assimilation in the United States," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(36), pages 4721-4730, December.
    11. Xiaoning Huang & Neeraj Kaushal & Julia Shu-Huah Wang, 2020. "What Explains the Gap in Welfare Use among Immigrants and Natives?," NBER Working Papers 27811, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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