An Empirical Analysis of the Welfare Magnet Debate Using the Nlsy

Journal of Population Economics, Vol. 12, Iss. 3, August 1999

Posted: 17 Sep 1996

See all articles by Phillip B. Levine

Phillip B. Levine

Wellesley College; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

David J. Zimmerman

Williams College

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Abstract

This paper examines the extent to which differences in welfare generosity across states leads to interstate migration. Using microdata from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) between 1979 and 1992, we employ a quasi-experimental design that utilizes the categorical eligibility of the welfare system. The pattern of cross-state moves among poor single women with children, who are likely to be eligible for benefits is compared to the pattern among other poor households. We find little evidence indicating that welfare-induced migration is a widespread phenomenon.

JEL Classification: H53, I38

Suggested Citation

Levine, Phillip B. and Zimmerman, David J., An Empirical Analysis of the Welfare Magnet Debate Using the Nlsy. Journal of Population Economics, Vol. 12, Iss. 3, August 1999. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4219

Phillip B. Levine

Wellesley College ( email )

106 Central Street
Wellesley, MA 02181
United States
781-283-2162 (Phone)
781-283-2177 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

David J. Zimmerman (Contact Author)

Williams College ( email )

Williamstown, MA 01267
United States
413-597-2192 (Phone)

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