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Targeted Business Incentives and Local Labor Markets

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  • Matthew Freedman

Abstract

This paper uses a regression discontinuity design to examine the effects of geographically targeted business incentives on local labor markets. Unlike elsewhere in the United States, enterprise zone (EZ) designations in Texas are determined in part by a cutoff rule based on census block group poverty rates. Exploiting this discontinuity as a source of quasi-experimental variation in investment and hiring incentives across areas, I find that EZ designation has a positive effect on resident employment, increasing opportunities mainly in lower-paying industries. While business sitings spurred by the program are more geographically diffuse, EZ designation is associated with increases in home values.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthew Freedman, 2013. "Targeted Business Incentives and Local Labor Markets," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 48(2), pages 311-344.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:48:y:2013:ii:1:p:311-344
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David S. Lee & Thomas Lemieux, 2010. "Regression Discontinuity Designs in Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(2), pages 281-355, June.
    2. Criscuolo, Chiara & Martin, Ralf & Overman, Henry & Van Reenen, John, 2012. "The Causal Effects of an Industrial Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 6323, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Gobillon, Laurent & Magnac, Thierry & Selod, Harris, 2012. "Do unemployed workers benefit from enterprise zones? The French experience," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(9-10), pages 881-892.
    4. Chiara Criscuolo & Ralf Martin & Henry G. Overman & John Van Reenen, 2012. "Some Causal Effects of an Industrial Policy," CEP Discussion Papers dp1113, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    5. Kenneth Y. Chay & Michael Greenstone, 2005. "Does Air Quality Matter? Evidence from the Housing Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(2), pages 376-424, April.
    6. Freedman, Matthew & Owens, Emily G., 2011. "Low-income housing development and crime," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2-3), pages 115-131, September.
    7. Joel A. Elvery, 2009. "The Impact of Enterprise Zones on Resident Employment," Economic Development Quarterly, , vol. 23(1), pages 44-59, February.
    8. Ham, John C. & Swenson, Charles & İmrohoroğlu, Ayşe & Song, Heonjae, 2011. "Government programs can improve local labor markets: Evidence from State Enterprise Zones, Federal Empowerment Zones and Federal Enterprise Community," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7), pages 779-797.
    9. Freedman, Matthew, 2012. "Teaching new markets old tricks: The effects of subsidized investment on low-income neighborhoods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(11), pages 1000-1014.
    10. Hanson, Andrew, 2009. "Local employment, poverty, and property value effects of geographically-targeted tax incentives: An instrumental variables approach," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 721-731, November.
    11. Neumark, David & Kolko, Jed, 2010. "Do enterprise zones create jobs? Evidence from California's enterprise zone program," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 1-19, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mayer, Thierry & Mayneris, Florian & Py, Loriane, 2012. "The Impact of Urban Enterprise Zones on Establishments' Location Decisions: Evidence from French ZFUs," CEPR Discussion Papers 9074, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Wenhua Di & Daniel L. Millimet, 2017. "Targeted business incentives and the debt behavior of households," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 52(3), pages 1115-1142, May.
    3. Pauline Charnoz, 2014. "French enterprise zone program : did it help the residents of deprived neighborhoods ?," ERSA conference papers ersa14p1465, European Regional Science Association.
    4. Neumark, David & Simpson, Helen, 2015. "Place-Based Policies," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, Elsevier.
    5. Anthony Briant & Miren Lafourcade & Benoît Schmutz, 2015. "Can Tax Breaks Beat Geography? Lessons from the French Enterprise Zone Experience," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 88-124, May.
    6. Patrick Kline & Enrico Moretti, 2014. "People, Places, and Public Policy: Some Simple Welfare Economics of Local Economic Development Programs," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 6(1), pages 629-662, August.
    7. Neumark, David & Simpson, Helen, 2015. "Do place-based policies matter?," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    8. repec:oup:jecgeo:v:17:y:2017:i:4:p:709-752. is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Rahman, Aminur, 2014. "Investment climate reforms and job creation in developing countries : what do we know and what should we do ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7025, The World Bank.
    10. Anthony Briant & Miren Lafourcade & Benoît Schmutz, 2012. "Can Tax Breaks Beat Geography? Lessons from the French Enterprise Zone Experience," Working Papers halshs-00695225, HAL.
    11. Thierry Mayer & Florian Mayneris & Loriane Py, 2017. "The impact of Urban Enterprise Zones on establishment location decisions and labor market outcomes: evidence from France," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(4), pages 709-752.
    12. World Bank Group, 2017. "Investment Policy and Promotion Diagnostics and Tools," World Bank Other Operational Studies 28281, The World Bank.
    13. Tong, Patricia & Zhou, Li, 2014. "The Impact of Place-Based Employment Tax Credits on Local Labor: Evidence from Tax Data," Working Papers 2014-6, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.
    14. Freedman, Matthew, 2015. "Place-based programs and the geographic dispersion of employment," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 1-19.
    15. Reynolds, C. Lockwood & Rohlin, Shawn M., 2015. "The effects of location-based tax policies on the distribution of household income: Evidence from the federal Empowerment Zone program," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 1-15.
    16. Neumark, David & Young, Timothy, 2017. "Government Programs Can Improve Local Labor Markets, But Do They? A Re-Analysis of Ham, Swenson, Imrohoro?lu, and Song (2011)," IZA Discussion Papers 11168, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    17. Daniel Kuehn, 2016. "Spillover Bias in Cross-Border Minimum Wage Studies: Evidence from a Gravity Model," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 37(4), pages 441-459, December.

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