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Title:Immigrant inflows and public goods provision
Author(s):Feng, Qinping
Director of Research:Albouy, David Y.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Albouy, David Y.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Powers, Elizabeth T.; McMillen, Daniel P.; Marx, Benjamin M.
Department / Program:Economics
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Public Goods Provision
Abstract:This dissertation consists of three chapters with a central theme on Hispanic inflows and public goods provision. The first paper investigates how Hispanic immigrant inflows affect K-12 public education finance in the US. I first document the long-run trend of mean household income and average number of children per household for Hispanic immigrant households relative to native households. An accounting calculation suggests that the tax price of per-pupil spending increases by 7% from 1970 to 2010 due to Hispanic immigrant inflows. Using the historical pattern of immigrant settlements as a source of exogenous variation, I quantify the causal impact of immigrant inflows on public education spending. I find that an increase of ten percentage points in the share of Hispanic immigrant children in the child population decreases per-pupil current spending by 13%, equivalent to about $1,300 per student when evaluated at the 2010 mean spending level. In addition, I find that Hispanic immigrant inflows largely reduce the demand for redistribution on education spending from the state government. A ten-percentage point increase in a state's population of Hispanic immigrant children causes per-pupil state spending to decrease by 30%. The second chapter investigates how the adoption of the Systematic Alien Verification of Entitlement (SAVE) program affects Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participation by immigrant adults and US-born children in immigrant-headed households. Comparing SNAP participation before and after the adoption of the SAVE program, I do not find a statistically significant decrease in the SNAP participation among non-citizen adults following the adoption of the SAVE program. In contrast, the SAVE adoption has a sizable negative impact on the SNAP participation by US-born children in immigrant households, both for the participation rate (a 14% decrease) and the total number of participants (an 8% decrease) in a household. The results suggest that SAVE not only is ineffective in deterring unqualified immigrant applicants but also reduces take-up among qualified US-born children. The last chapter studies the driving forces of state anti-illegal immigration legislation passed since 2005, focusing on a district's demographic structure. To accomplish this, I compile a novel dataset of legislative-district-level characteristics and match these data to votes on individual bills from each state's house of representatives and senate. I show that districts with a more established immigrant population and a higher fraction of African Americans tend to vote against anti-illegal immigration legislation. In contrast to the previous findings, however, districts with a large fraction of Hispanic population tend to vote for anti-illegal immigration legislation.
Issue Date:2016-07-12
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Qinping Feng
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-11-10
Date Deposited:2016-08

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