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A preliminary investigation of welfare migration induced by time limits

  • Snarr, Hal W.
  • Burkey, Mark L.

Studies on welfare programs in the United States have identified three types of welfare migration (employment, benefit, and amenity-related). This paper introduces a fourth type of migration induced by welfare time limits. After a welfare-dependent family runs out of benefits, it is possible for them to reset the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families time clock by crossing state lines to extend their benefits. Our theoretical results suggest that the likelihood of migration increases if the migration distance is small or the gain from the move is large. We hypothesize that, ceteris paribus, families migrating in order to extend their benefits will minimize the distance they migrate, and will be likely to move into the nearest state, especially into counties just across the state border. We utilize macro data at the county level to look for evidence of time-limit induced migration. Estimates indicate that time limits may be associated with an increase in welfare migration.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/36228/1/MPRA_paper_36228.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 36228.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Publication status: Published in The Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy 2.36(2006): pp. 124-139
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:36228
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Web page: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de

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  1. Hanming Fang & Michael P. Keane, 2004. "Assessing the Impact of Welfare Reform on Single Mothers," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 35(1), pages 1-116.
  2. Jeff Grogger & Charles Michalopoulos, 1999. "Welfare Dynamics Under Time Limits," NBER Working Papers 7353, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Charles Brown & Wallace E. Oates, 1985. "Assistance to the Poor in a Federal System," NBER Working Papers 1715, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Burkey, Mark L. & Simkins, Scott P., 2004. "Factors Affecting the Location of Payday Lending and Traditional Banking Services in North Carolina," The Review of Regional Studies, Southern Regional Science Association, vol. 34(2), pages 191-205.
  5. J. R. Walker, . "Migration amoung low-income households: Helping the witch doctors reach consensus," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1031-94, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  6. Jeffrey Grogger, 2004. "Time Limits and Welfare Use," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
  7. Gordon Jong & Deborah Graefe & Tanja St. Pierre, 2005. "Welfare reform and interstate migration of poor families," Demography, Springer, vol. 42(3), pages 469-496, August.
  8. Terra McKinnish, 2005. "Importing the Poor: Welfare Magnetism and Cross-Border Welfare Migration," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(1).
  9. Michael A. Stegman & Robert Faris, 2003. "Payday Lending: A Business Model that Encourages Chronic Borrowing," Economic Development Quarterly, , vol. 17(1), pages 8-32, February.
  10. Christopher A. Swann, 2004. "Welfare Reform when Recipients are Forward-Looking," Department of Economics Working Papers 04-04, Stony Brook University, Department of Economics.
  11. George J. Borjas, 1998. "Immigration and Welfare Magnets," NBER Working Papers 6813, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Rebecca M. Blank, 2000. "What Causes Public Assistance Caseloads to Grow?," JCPR Working Papers 18, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  13. 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.
  14. Robert Kaestner & Neeraj Kaushal & Gregg Van Ryzin, 2001. "Migration Consequences of Welfare Reform," NBER Working Papers 8560, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. 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.
  16. Jeffrey Grogger, 2003. "Welfare Transitions in the 1990s: The Economy, Welfare Policy, and the EITC," NBER Working Papers 9472, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. 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.
  18. Enchautegui, Maria E, 1997. "Welfare Payments and Other Economic Determinants of Female Migration," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(3), pages 529-54, July.
  19. Neeraj Kaushal & Robert Kaestner, 2001. "From Welfare to Work: Has Welfare Reform Worked?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(4), pages 699-719.
  20. Wildasin, David E, 1991. "Income Redistribution in a Common Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 757-74, September.
  21. Jeffrey Grogger, 2003. "The Effects of Time Limits, the EITC, and Other Policy Changes on Welfare Use, Work, and Income among Female-Headed Families," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(2), pages 394-408, May.
  22. James P. Ziliak & David N. Figlio & Elizabeth E. Davis & Laura S. Connolly, 2000. "Accounting for the Decline in AFDC Caseloads: Welfare Reform or the Economy?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(3), pages 570-586.
  23. 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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