Development impact fees and employment
Development impact fees have sparked considerable controversy as they have spread rapidly in usage throughout the United States. One contentious issue is the effect that these fees have on local economic development. While some scholars have argued that impact fees attract jobs by reducing developers' uncertainty, the development community maintains that they operate as an excise tax, reducing commercial development and driving away jobs. We use Florida county level panel data, from 1990-2005, to investigate the relationship between private employment and different types of impact fees. We find that commercial fees and school fees have countervailing effects, with the former repelling jobs and the latter attracting jobs. These results are consistent with our theory driven expectations. Our investigation also suggests that differences between our results and those obtained in prior studies can be attributed to two factors: the latter studies' violation of the condition of strict exogeneity required for consistent estimation and a failure to account for differential employment effects across various types of impact fees.
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