Enterprise zones: 1. Investment and job creation of state government programs in the United States of America
This is the first of two papers in which the programmatic structure and effectiveness of state government designated enterprise zones (EZs) in the United States of America are analyzed. The study is based on survey data from 17 states. Although the EZs are not the 'miracle cure' for economically distressed areas, as claimed by many proponents, notable investment and job gains have been achieved in many zones. Some traditional arguments against EZs, such as their presumed attraction of 'sweatshop' industries, the pirating of existing firms from surrounding areas, and the failure to provide jobs for zone residents are not substantiated. In the second paper, a comparative analysis of the effectiveness of state EZ policies is undertaken, with a focus on differences in zone settings and program structures.