The relation between public assistance and self-employment in census tracts: a long-term perspective

Pankaj C. Patel, CA (Niels) Rietveld*, Igor Pereira

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

We present evidence on the long-term relationship between the breadth (the proportion of households) and depth (the amount per household) of public assistance and the prevalence of self-employment in US neighbourhoods. The analysis of decennial data of 71,437 census tracts over four decades (1970 to 2000) shows that the poverty ratio lowers self-employment, and that breadth (but not depth) of public assistance mitigates the negative relationship between the poverty ratio and self-employment. The results are robust to alternate model specifications and are informative about the distributional effects of welfare spendings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)891-927
Number of pages37
JournalJournal of Evolutionary Economics
Volume32
Issue number3
Early online date15 Oct 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

JEL codes: H5 · L26 · R13

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).

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