NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

An Empirical Analysis of the Welfare Magnet Debate Using the NLSY

Phillip B. Levine, David J. Zimmerman

NBER Working Paper No. 5264
Issued in September 1995
NBER Program(s):Labor Studies

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.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w5264

Published: Journal of Population Economics, Vol. 12, no. 3 (1999): 391-409. citation courtesy of

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