Immigration and Welfare Magnets

46 Pages Posted: 12 May 1999 Last revised: 11 Oct 2010

See all articles by George J. Borjas

George J. Borjas

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: November 1998

Abstract

This paper investigates if the location choices made by immigrants when they arrive in the United States are influenced by the interstate dispersion in welfare benefits. Income-maximizing behavior implies that foreign-born welfare recipients unlike their native-born counterparts, may be clustered in the states that offer the highest benefits. The empirical analysis indicates that immigrant welfare recipients are indeed more heavily clustered in high-benefit states than the immigrants who do not receive welfare, or than natives. As a result, the welfare participation rate of immigrants is much more sensitive to changes in welfare benefits than that of natives.

Suggested Citation

Borjas, George J., Immigration and Welfare Magnets (November 1998). NBER Working Paper No. w6813. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=141271

George J. Borjas (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
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617-495-1393 (Phone)
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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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