Does Welfare Policy Affect Birth Rates Among Low-Skilled Immigrants?

Felicia T. Yang, Cornell University
Kosali I. Simon, Cornell University

We analyze whether the differential treatment of immigrant access to social assistance after the changes to welfare policy made in the early 1990s and the welfare reform act of 1996 affects the child-bearing decisions of low-skilled immigrants using a fertility rate data set constructed from the 2000 Decennial Census public use 5% files and the Natality Detail birth certificates files. We find evidence that immigrant fertility, particularly non-martial fertility among low-educated immigrants, declined in response to these policy changes.

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Presented in Poster Session 4: Migration, Income, Employment, Neighborhoods and Residential Context