Welfare Rules, State Economics, and Life Course Transitions in the Interstate Migration of Immigrants

Gordon F. De Jong, Pennsylvania State University
Deborah Roempke Graefe, Pennsylvania State University
Matthew S Hall, Pennsylvania State University

This study extends prior research on the interstate migration of U.S. immigrants by testing the impact of state variations in TANF immigrant eligibility rules and individual and family life course transitions on migration behavior. Utilizing longitudinal individual- and family- level migration, human capital, and life course transitions data from the 1996-1999 and 2001-2003 panels of the Survey of Income and Program Participation, integrated with state welfare rule data from the Urban Institute and state economic conditions data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we apply a discrete-time event history approach in a nested logit model to estimate both departure decision and destination choice models of immigrants. The results afford new evidence on alternative explanations for the interstate migration of immigrants.

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Presented in Session 11: Migration, Immigration, and Population Shifts within the U.S.