Published July 5, 2021
Kudos to Associate Professors Yunju Nam and Wooksoo Kim, PhD student Sarah Richards-Desai, and their colleague on the publication of their article, "Welfare-dependent Refugees?: Evidence from County Welfare Management System Data in Western New York" in the Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies.
Nam, Y., Hausmann, A., Kim, W., & Richards-Desai, S. (2021). Welfare-Dependent Refugees?: Evidence from County Welfare Management System Data in Western New York. Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies.
This study tests an assumption of refugee resettlement policy: Refugees are dependent on welfare. Using administrative data from a county government, we compare the probability of receiving welfare for an extended time between refugees and citizens. We use receiving state-funded welfare benefits as an indicator of long-term reliance on welfare, as families lose eligibility for federally-funded benefits after 60 months on welfare. Logit regressions find that refugees are significantly less likely to receive state-funded welfare than citizens, controlling for family head’s characteristics and family composition. Analysis results discredit public fears of long-term fiscal burden from refugees’ welfare dependency.