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Immigration and Welfare Magnets

George Borjas ()

Journal of Labor Economics, 1999, vol. 17, issue 4, 607-37

Abstract: This article 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. Copyright 1999 by University of Chicago Press.

Date: 1999
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