Abstract

In this article we examine the relationship between immigrants’ welfare use and their social capital, using the 1990 census. We measure community social capital using contact with co-ethnics and coethnics’ economic inactivity, and examine the use of AFDC and SSI in two subpopulations: single-mother families and elderly units. Major findings are that the effects of social capital differ between immigrant single-mother families and elderly units; the effects of social capital differ between the young-at-arrival elderly and the old-at-arrival elderly; and the process of AFDC use is similar for immigrants and for natives, whereas the process of SSI use is more complicated for immigrants than for natives.

The text of this article is only available as a PDF.

References

Bean, F.D., Van Hook, J.V.W., & Glick, J.E. (
1997
).
Country of Origin, Type of Public Assistance, and Patterns of Welfare Recipiency Among U.S. Immigrants and Natives
.
Social Science Quarterly
,
78
,
432
51
.
Becker, G.S. (
1991
).
A Treatise on the Family
. Enlarged ed.
Cambridge, MA
:
Harvard University Press
.
Blau, F. (
1984
).
The Use of Transfer Payments by Immigrants
.
Industrial and Labor Relations Review
,
37
,
222
39
. 10.2307/2522843
Borjas, G.J. (
1992
).
National Origin and the Skills of Immigrants in the Postwar Period
. In G.J. Borjas, & R.B. Freeman (Eds.),
Immigration and the Work Force: Economic Consequences for the United States and Source Areas
(pp.
17
47
).
Chicago
:
University of Chicago Press
.
Borjas, G.J. (
1994
).
The Economics of Immigration
.
Journal of Economic Literature
,
32
,
1667
717
.
Borjas, G.J., & Hilton, L. (
1996
).
Immigration and the Welfare State: Immigrant Participation in Means-Tested Entitlement Programs
.
Quarterly Journal of Economics
,
111
,
576
604
. 10.2307/2946688
Chiswick, B.R. (
1978
).
The Effect of Assimilation on the Earnings of Foreign-Born Men
.
Journal of Political Economy
,
86
,
897
921
. 10.1086/260717
Coleman, J.S. (
1988
).
Social Capital in the Creation of Human Capital
.
American Journal of Sociology
,
94
,
95
120
. 10.1086/228943
Hu, W.Y. (
1998
).
Elderly Immigrants on Welfare
.
Journal of Human Resources
,
33
,
711
41
. 10.2307/146339
Jensen, L. (
1988
).
Patterns of Immigration and Public Assistance Utilization, 1970–1980
.
International Migration Review
,
22
(
1
),
51
83
. 10.2307/2546396
Liberson, S., & Carter, D.K. (
1982
).
Temporal Changes and Urban Differences in Residential Segregation: A Reconsideration
.
American Journal of Sociology
,
88
,
296
310
. 10.1086/227672
Massey, D.S., Arango, J., Hugo, G., Kouaouci, A., Pellegrino, A., & Tailor, J.E. (
1994
).
Theories of International Migration: A Review and Appraisal
.
Population and Development Review
,
19
,
431
66
. 10.2307/2938462
Massey, D.S., & Denton, N.A. (
1988
).
The Dimensions of Residential Segregation
.
Social Forces
,
67
,
281
315
. 10.2307/2579183
Massey, D.S., White, M.J., & Phua, V.C. (
1996
).
The Dimensions of Segregation Revisited
.
Sociological Methods and Research
,
25
,
172
206
. 10.1177/0049124196025002002
Moffitt, R. (
1992
).
Incentive Effects of the U.S. Welfare System: A Review
.
Journal of Economic Literature
,
30
,
1
61
.
Portes, A., & Sensenbrenner, J. (
1993
).
Embeddedness and Immigration: Notes on the Social Determinants of Economic Action
.
American Journal of Sociology
,
98
,
1320
50
. 10.1086/230191
Raftery, A.E. (
1995
).
Bayesian Model Selection in Social Research
. In P.V. Marsden (Ed.),
Sociological Methodology
(pp.
111
64
).
Cambridge
:
Blackwell Publishers
.
Schoeni, R.F. (
1997
).
New Evidence on the Economic Progress of Foreign-Born Men in the 1970s and 1980s
.
Journal of Human Resources
,
32
,
683
740
. 10.2307/146426
Tienda, M., & Jensen, L. (
1986
).
Immigration and Public Assistance Participation: Dispelling the Myth of Dependency
.
Social Science Research
,
15
,
372
400
. 10.1016/0049-089X(86)90019-0
Van Hook, J. (
2000
).
SSI Eligibility and Participation Among Elderly Naturalized Citizens and Noncitizens
.
Social Science Research
,
29
,
51
69
. 10.1006/ssre.1999.0652
Van Hook, J., & Bean, F.D. (
1999
).
The Growth in Noncitizen SSI Caseloads 1979-1996: Aging Versus New Immigrant Effects
.
Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences
,
54B
,
16
23
.
Van Hook, J., Glick, J.E., & Bean, F.D. (
1999
).
Public Assistance Receipt Among Immigrants and Natives: How the Unit of Analysis Affects Research Findings
.
Demography
,
36
,
111
20
. 10.2307/2648137