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On the assumption that poor people migrate to obtain better welfare benefits, the magnet hypothesis predicts that a state's poverty rate increases when its welfare benefit rises faster than benefits in surrounding states. The benefit competition hypothesis proposes that states lower welfare benefits to avoid attracting the poor from neighboring states. Previous investigations, which yield support for these propositions, suffer from weaknesses in model specification and methodology. We correctdoi:10.3886/icpsr01294.v1 fatcat:3geu7eoa5rfvzb34gzpsz4b37m