ICPSR Logo

This study is provided by ICPSR. ICPSR provides leadership and training in data access, curation, and methods of analysis for a diverse and expanding social science research community.

Reassessing the "Race to the Bottom" in State Welfare Policy (ICPSR 1294) RSS

Principal Investigator(s):

Summary:

On the assumption that poor people migrate to obtain better welfare benefits, the magnet hypothesis predicts that a state's poverty rate increases when its welfare benefit rises faster than benefits in surrounding states. The benefit competition hypothesis proposes that states lower welfare benefits to avoid attracting the poor from neighboring states. Previous investigations, which yield support for these propositions, suffer from weaknesses in model specification and methodology. We correct these deficiencies in a simultaneous equation model including a state's poverty rate and its benefit level for AFDC (Aid to Families with Dependent Children) as endogenous variables. We estimate the model using pooled annual data for the American states from 1960 to 1990, and find that a state's poverty rate does not jump significantly when its welfare payments outpace benefits in neighboring states. Neither is there any evidence of vigorous benefit competition among states. States respond to decreases in neighboring states.

Access Notes

  • These data are flagged as replication datasets and are distributed exactly as they arrived from the data depositor. ICPSR has not checked or processed this material. Users should consult the investigator(s) if further information is desired.

  • These data are freely available.

Dataset(s)

Dataset - Download All Files (0.6 MB)
Data:

Study Description

Citation

Berry, William D., Richard C. Fording, and Russell L. Hanson. Reassessing the "Race to the Bottom" in State Welfare Policy. ICPSR01294-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2004-02-24. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR01294.v1

Persistent URL:

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)

Funding

This study was funded by:

  • National Science Foundation

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   poverty, public assistance programs, states (USA), welfare services

Geographic Coverage:   United States

Data Collection Notes:

(1) The files submitted are read_me_first.pdf (documentation for the replication dataset), BFH_JOP.dta (a Stata 8.0 dataset containing all data necessary to replicate the results reported in the article), and BFH_JOP_unpublished_supplement.pdf, an unpublished supplement described in the text of the article. (2) These data are part of ICPSR's Publication-Related Archive and are distributed exactly as they arrived from the data depositor. ICPSR has not checked or processed this material. Users should consult the investigator(s) if further information is desired.

Methodology

Version(s)

Original ICPSR Release:  

Related Publications

Utilities

Metadata Exports

If you're looking for collection-level metadata rather than an individual metadata record, please visit our Metadata Records page.

Download Statistics

Found a problem? Use our Report Problem form to let us know.