Whether poor single mothers move in response to welfare benefits has important implications for social policy in a federal system. Many scholars claim that welfare does not affect migration. These claims are not definitive, however, because the models underlying them rely on problematic assumptions and do not adequately control for nonwelfare determinants of migration. I address these shortcomings with an improved statistical model of individual-level migration. The results indicate that welfare does affect residential choice. Although the effects of welfare are much smaller than the effects of family ties, they are real and have the potential to cause nontrivial changes in welfare populations and welfare expenditures.
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