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Duncan Lawrence
Working Papers

Leveraging the Power of Place: A Data-Driven Decision Helper to Improve the Location Decisions of Economic Immigrants

Jeremy Ferwerda, Nicholas Adams-Cohen, Jennifer Fei, Duncan Lawrence, Jeremy M. Weinstein, Jens Hainmueller
Immigration Policy Lab (IPL) Working Paper Series , 2020

A growing number of countries have established programs to attract immigrants who can contribute to their economy. Research suggests that an immigrant's initial arrival location plays a key role in shaping their economic success. Yet immigrants currently lack access to personalized information that would help them identify optimal destinations. Instead, they often rely on availability heuristics, which can lead to the selection of sub-optimal landing locations, lower earnings, elevated outmigration rates, and concentration in the most well-known locations.

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Journal Articles

Public Health Insurance Expansion for Immigrant Children and Interstate Migration of Low-Income Immigrants

Vasil I Yasenov, Duncan Lawrence, Fernando S Mendoza, Jens Hainmueller
JAMA Pediatric , 2019

Federal policy changes in 2002 and 2009 led some states to expand public health insurance coverage to non-US-born children and pregnant women who are lawful permanent residents during their first 5 years of residency in the United States. In other states, there were concerns that insurance expansion could attract immigrants to relocate to gain free health insurance coverage.

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Working Papers

In Search of Opportunity and Community: The Secondary Migration of Refugees in the United States

Nadwa Mossad, Jeremy Ferwerda, Duncan Lawrence, Jeremy M. Weinstein, Jens Hainmueller
SSRN , 2019

Each year the United States resettles thousands of refugees in pre-determined locations across the country. However, refugees are free to relocate upon arrival. Although this secondary migration can fundamentally alter outcomes for both refugees and the communities that host them, policymakers lack systematic data on this phenomenon. Using novel administrative data covering all adult refugees resettled between 2000 and 2014 (N≈447,000), we provide a comprehensive analysis of secondary migration patterns.

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Journal Articles

Standardizing the fee-waiver application increased naturalization rates of low-income immigrants

Vasil Yasenov, Michael Hotard, Duncan Lawrence, Jens Hainmueller, David Laitin
PNAS , 2019

The problem of low naturalization rates in the United States has entered policymakers’ agendas in light of the societal gains associated with citizenship and an increasing number of foreign-born residents. Nevertheless, there is little evidence on what policy interventions work best to increase naturalization rates. In this research, we show that the standardization of the fee waiver for citizenship applications in 2010 raised naturalization rates among low-income immigrants.

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Journal Articles

A low-cost information nudge increases citizenship application rates among low-income immigrants

Michael Hotard, Duncan Lawrence, David Laitin, Jens Hainmueller
Nature: Human Behaviour , 2019

We show that an information nudge increased the rate of American citizenship applications among low-income immigrants eligible for a federal fee waiver. Approximately half of the 9 million naturalization-eligible immigrants qualify for a federal programme that waives the cost of the citizenship application for low-income individuals.

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Journal Articles

Determinants of refugee naturalization in the United States

Nadwa Mossaad, Jeremy Ferwerda, Duncan Lawrence, Jeremy M. Weinstein, Jens Hainmueller
PNAS , 2018

The United States operates the world’s largest refugee resettlement program. However, there is almost no systematic evidence on whether refugees successfully integrate into American society over the long run. We address this gap by drawing on linked administrative data to directly measure a long-term integration outcome: naturalization rates. Assessing the full population of refugees resettled between 2000 and 2010, we find that refugees naturalize at high rates: 66% achieved citizenship by 2015.

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Journal Articles

Oregon’s Expansion of Prenatal Care Improved Utilization Among Immigrant Women

Jonas J. Swartz, Jens Hainmueller, Duncan Lawrence, Maria I. Rodriguez
Maternal and Child Health Journal , 2018

Objectives To determine whether expanding Emergency Medicaid to cover prenatal care in Oregon affected maternal health outcomes for unauthorized immigrants. Methods This study takes place in Oregon from 2003 to 2015 and includes all Emergency Medicaid and Medicaid claims for women aged 12–51 with a pregnancy related claim. To isolate the effect of expanding access to prenatal care, we utilized a difference-in-differences approach that exploits the staggered rollout of the prenatal care program. The primary outcome was a composite measure of severe maternal morbidity and mortality.

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Journal Articles

Protecting unauthorized immigrant mothers improves their children’s mental health

Jens Hainmueller, Duncan Lawrence, Linna Marten, Bernard Black, Lucila Figueroa, Michael Hotard, Tomás R. Jiménez, Fernando Mendoza, Maria I. Rodriguez, Jonas J. Swartz, David Laitin
Science , 2017

The United States is embroiled in a debate about whether to protect or deport its estimated 11 million unauthorized immigrants, but the fact that these immigrants are also parents to more than 4 million U.S.-born children is often overlooked. We provide causal evidence of the impact of parents’ unauthorized immigration status on the health of their U.S. citizen children. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program granted temporary protection from deportation to more than 780,000 unauthorized immigrants.

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Journal Articles

When lives are put on hold: Lengthy asylum processes decrease employment among refugees

Jens Hainmueller, Dominik Hangartner, Duncan Lawrence
Science Advances , 2016

European governments are struggling with the biggest refugee crisis since World War II, but there exists little evidence regarding how the management of the asylum process affects the subsequent integration of refugees in the host country. We provide new causal evidence about how one central policy parameter, the length of time that refugees wait in limbo for a decision on their asylum claim, affects their subsequent economic integration.

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