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Assistance to the Poor in a Federal System

  • Charles Brown
  • Wallace E. Oates

This paper explores the roles of different levels of government in assisting the poor. Using a model with utility interdependence, the paper presents some theoretical results on how levels of poor relief vary with the extent of mobility of the poor under both centralized and decentralized systems of support. After surveying the relevant empirical work and the experience under the English Poor Laws, the paper argues for a basic role for central government in this function.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w1715.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 1715.

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Date of creation: Oct 1985
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Brown, Charles and Wallace Oates. "Assistance to the Poor in a Federal System," Journal of Public Economics, Vol. 32, No. 3, April 1987, pp. 307-330.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1715
Note: LS
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  1. Pauly, Mark V., 1973. "Income redistribution as a local public good," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 35-58, February.
  2. Peltzman, Sam, 1980. "The Growth of Government," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(2), pages 209-87, October.
  3. Rebecca Blank, 1983. "Welfare, Wages and Migration, An Analysis of Locational Choice by Female-Headed Households," Working Papers 550, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  4. Edward M. Gramlich & Henry J. Aaron & Michael C. Lovell, 1982. "An Econometric Examination of the New Federalism," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 13(2), pages 327-370.
  5. Orr, Larry L, 1976. "Income Transfers as a Public Good: An Application to AFDC," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(3), pages 359-71, June.
  6. Cebula, Richard, 1973. "Interstate Migration and the Tiebout Hypothesis: An Analysis According to Race, Sex, and Age," MPRA Paper 49827, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 01 Feb 1974.
  7. Rishi Kumar, 1977. "More on nonwhite migration, welfare levels, and the political process," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 151-154, December.
  8. Richard J. Cebula, 2009. "Migration and the Tiebout-Tullock Hypothesis," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(2), pages 541-551, 04.
  9. 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.
  10. Blaug, Mark, 1963. "The Myth of the Old Poor Law and the Making of the New," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 23(02), pages 151-184, June.
  11. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416.
  12. David E. Kaun, 1970. "Negro Migration and Unemployment," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 5(2), pages 191-207.
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