An Analytical Framework for Studying the Potential Effects of an Income Maintenance Program on U.S. Interregional Migration

by Julie DaVanzo


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An analytical framework that should be appropriate for studying the potential impact of an income maintenance program (IMP) on interregional migration. A model based on the human capital approach is estimated using aggregate data on the 1955-1960 gross migration between U.S. Census divisions for all sex-color-education groups of persons aged 25-29. "Family" measures of income at origin (proxy for ability to finance the investment) and income ratios (proxy for rate of return) sometimes perform better than measures for males or females. Long-distance moves appear to be more sensitive to financing ability than shorter moves. F-tests of coefficient homogeneity show that coefficients always differ significantly by education, sometimes by color, but never by sex. Potential effects of an IMP on migration include facilitating migration financing, reducing its riskiness, reducing the labor market return, and reducing interregional discrepancies in welfare benefits. Longitudinal data on individuals and households are recommended for future research.

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