Migration consequences of welfare reform

Robert Kaestner, Neeraj Kaushal, Gregg Van Ryzin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


We investigate whether recent changes in welfare policy affect the migration of low-educated unmarried mothers. Estimates indicate that welfare reform is associated with an increase in employment-related intrastate migration, and a decrease in non-employment related migration, both within and between states. The net effect was a small increase in intrastate migration and a small decrease in interstate migration. The close link between migration and employment suggests that welfare reform has motivated low-income women to move for economic reasons. In general, welfare policy appears to have a much larger effect on residential location because of its relationship to employment than because of benefit differences between states.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)357-376
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Urban Economics
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2003
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Urban Studies


  • Employment
  • Migration
  • Welfare reform


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