Life Course Transitions and Internal Migration: Consequences for Family TANF Participation

Deborah Roempke Graefe, Pennsylvania State University
Gordon F. De Jong, Pennsylvania State University

Based on life course transition theory and longitudinal population survey data for the 1996-1999 and 2001-2003 panels of the Survey of Income and Program Participation, random coefficients models in an event history framework provide new evidence on how before- and after-migration life course events affect post-migration family TANF receipt of inter- and intrastate migrants. Preliminary results show that, net the effects of factors selecting families to migrate, in the absence of some family-composition-altering event, neither inter- nor intrastate migration has a significant relationship with family TANF participation. As expected, those who marry tend to be less likely to receive TANF assistance, but surprisingly, when marriage precedes interstate migration, post-move TANF participation is more likely. A positive impact (i.e., increased likelihood of TANF participation) of separation and divorce life course events is markedly reduced by a subsequent interstate relocation. These effects are not explained by state economic or policy characteristics.

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Presented in Session 137: Policy Studies