Immigrant Inclusion in the Safety Net: A Framework for Analysis and Effects on Educational Attainment

Condon M., A. Filindra and A. Wichowsky (2016) “Immigrant Inclusion in the Safety Net: A Framework for Analysis and Effects on Educational Attainment,” Policy Studies Journal, Vol. 44, Issue 4, pp. 424-448

45 Pages Posted: 7 May 2020

See all articles by Meghan Condon

Meghan Condon

University of Wisconsin - Madison

Alexandra Filindra

University of Illinois at Chicago

Amber Wichowsky

Marquette University

Date Written: August 30, 2015

Abstract

We present a theoretical framework to evaluate the effects of policies that target immigrants and apply it to investigate how immigrant inclusion in the state social safety net affects educational attainment among Latino and Asian Americans. Following welfare reform in 1996, states gained considerable autonomy over welfare policy, including decisions about the eligibility of immigrant residents. Leveraging state-level data from before and after reform, we estimate a difference-in-difference model to identify the effect of variation in immigrant inclusivity on educational attainment. We find evidence that when states take steps to broaden the inclusivity of the social safety net to immigrants, young Latinos and Asians are more likely to persist in schooling and graduate from high school. This effect is present beyond the group of Latino and Asian residents who receive additional benefits, suggesting that policy decisions about immigrants communicate broader messages about social inclusion to racial and ethnic groups. We conclude that immigration related policy variation at the state level has consequences for the life prospects of the growing populations of Latino and Asian American youth.

Suggested Citation

Condon, Meghan and Filindra, Alexandra and Wichowsky, Amber, Immigrant Inclusion in the Safety Net: A Framework for Analysis and Effects on Educational Attainment (August 30, 2015). Condon M., A. Filindra and A. Wichowsky (2016) “Immigrant Inclusion in the Safety Net: A Framework for Analysis and Effects on Educational Attainment,” Policy Studies Journal, Vol. 44, Issue 4, pp. 424-448, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3574816

Meghan Condon

University of Wisconsin - Madison ( email )

716 Langdon Street
Madison, WI 53706-1481
United States

Alexandra Filindra (Contact Author)

University of Illinois at Chicago ( email )

1102 Behavioral Science Building (BSB)
Chicago, IL 60607-7137
United States

Amber Wichowsky

Marquette University ( email )

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