Family Health and Migration Decisions in the Early Years of Welfare Reform: Do Poverty and Social Support Change the Equation?

Dee C. May, Pennsylvania State University
Gordon F. De Jong, Pennsylvania State University

Longitudinal migration and health status data from the 1996 Panel of the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) is merged with state-level welfare policy indicators to investigate inter- and intrastate migration decisions under welfare reform's emphasis on requiring work and encouraging reliance on social support networks.. Poor families with and without health-compromised members are compared. A nested logit model incorporates both origin and alternate destination state characteristics with family social and demographic characteristics, including employment and social networks. It is hypothesized that health-compromised families may be "pushed" from states with stringent activities requirements or "pulled" to states with comparatively lenient rules. Concurrently, if social support compensates for welfare restrictions, poor families with ill or disabled members may not feel pressure to migrate.

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Presented in Poster Session 5: Health and Mortality