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Unintended Migration Consequences of US Welfare Reform

Hal Snarr (), Daniel Friesner () and Mark Burkey
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Daniel Friesner: College of Pharmacy, Nursing and Allied Sciences, North Dakota State University, Dept. 2650, P.O. Box 6050, Fargo, ND 58108-6050, U.S.A.

Economic Analysis and Policy, 2011, vol. 41, issue 3, 233-252

Abstract: Researchers have analyzed whether US welfare reform has induced interstate migration. Empirical results are inconclusive because methodologies are based on pre-reform thinking. This paper presents a post-reform migration model. We find that recipients move to avoid harsh sanction policies, seek lenient work requirements, and extend time limits. Unlike the first two behavioral responses, the latter is controversial. Critics will argue that such moves are illegal, and violators can be prosecuted because states share data. However, only active cases are being shared, meaning violators cannot be caught. Our model produces testable hypotheses which are consistent with (and reconcile) previous empirical results.

Keywords: Migration; Welfare reform (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: R23 I38 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2011
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