Welfare Magnets: Migration and the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996
Early Career Research Award
The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996 provides states with wide latitude to create rules for welfare payments under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. States can pay different amounts and can impose different eligibility rules. This study measures the influence of changes in TANF rules on inter-state migration; that is, whether TANF recipients shop around for the ‘best deal’ by migrating to a state with higher benefits and more liberal eligibility rules. Data from the Census 2000 and the American Community Survey 2006-2008 are used.