Metropolitan Area Structure, Welfare Policy and Migration of Poor Families

Gordon F. De Jong, Pennsylvania State University

This study investigates whether economic and demographic structure of metropolitan places moderates the push and pull of stringent versus lenient welfare policies in the migration decisions of poor families. Metropolitan areas with better employment opportunities and higher concentrations of the same racial and ethnic groups to which potential migrants belong should reduce the migration push associated with stringent welfare policies. They should also reduce intrastate and intra-metropolitan migration. Data are from the 1996 panel of the Survey of Income and Program Participation, the Urban Institute’s Welfare Rules Database, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (metropolitan and state economic characteristics), and the decennial census (metropolitan population structure). Modeling both destination and departure effects of metropolitan economic and demographic characteristics, state welfare policy measures, and selected covariates in a nested discrete-time event history migration analysis, findings address the role of metropolitan area structure and state welfare rules in migration.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Session 46: Intermetropolitan Migration in the United States