Munich Personal RePEc Archive

A preliminary investigation of welfare migration induced by time limits

Snarr, Hal W. and Burkey, Mark L. (2006): A preliminary investigation of welfare migration induced by time limits. Published in: The Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy , Vol. 36, No. 2 (2006): pp. 124-139.

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Abstract

Studies on welfare programs in the United States have identified three types of welfare migration (employment, benefit, and amenity-related). This paper introduces a fourth type of migration induced by welfare time limits. After a welfare-dependent family runs out of benefits, it is possible for them to reset the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families time clock by crossing state lines to extend their benefits. Our theoretical results suggest that the likelihood of migration increases if the migration distance is small or the gain from the move is large. We hypothesize that, ceteris paribus, families migrating in order to extend their benefits will minimize the distance they migrate, and will be likely to move into the nearest state, especially into counties just across the state border. We utilize macro data at the county level to look for evidence of time-limit induced migration. Estimates indicate that time limits may be associated with an increase in welfare migration.

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