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Does "Trickle Down" Work? Economic Development and Job Chains in Local Labor Markets


  • Joseph Persky

    (University of Illinois at Chicago)

  • Daniel Felsenstein

    (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

  • Virginia Carlson

    (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)


Persky, Felsenstein, and Carlson explore a new framework for evaluating state and local economic development efforts. They propose a method, referred to as the "job-chains approach," that they say clarifies the potential justifications for economic development subsidies as well as the limitations surrounding these efforts. This innovative approach addresses not only the number of job vacancies created as a result of a subsidized business investment or expansion, but also the extent to which gains are achieved by the unemployed and the underemployed, whether skilled or unskilled.

Suggested Citation

  • Joseph Persky & Daniel Felsenstein & Virginia Carlson, 2004. "Does "Trickle Down" Work? Economic Development and Job Chains in Local Labor Markets," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number dtdw, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:upj:ubooks:dtdw
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    Cited by:

    1. Andreason, Stuart, 2015. "Leading, lagging, and left behind: identifying metropolitan leaders and labor market outcomes," FRB Atlanta Community and Economic Development Discussion Paper 2015-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    2. Joseph Persky & Daniel Felsenstein, 2008. "Job Chains And Wage Curves: Worker Mobility And Marshallian Surpluses In Evaluating Regional Employment Growth," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(5), pages 921-940.
    3. Joseph Persky & Daniel Felsenstein, 2006. "Restricting access in a job chains model of local employment creation," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 40(2), pages 423-435, June.
    4. Thakuriah (Vonu), Piyushimita & Persky, Joseph & Soot, Siim & Sriraj, P.S., 2013. "Costs and benefits of employment transportation for low-wage workers: An assessment of job access public transportation services," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 31-42.
    5. Timothy J. Bartik, 2012. "The Future of State and Local Economic Development Policy: What Research Is Needed," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(4), pages 545-562, December.
    6. Mark D. Partridge & Dan S. Rickman, 2008. "Does a Rising Tide Lift All Metropolitan Boats? Assessing Poverty Dynamics by Metropolitan Size and County Type," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(2), pages 283-312.
    7. Persky, Joseph J. & Baiman, Ron, 2010. "Do State Minimum Wage Laws Reduce Employment? Mixed Messages from Fast Food Outlets in Illinois and Indiana," Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy, Mid-Continent Regional Science Association, vol. 40(2).

    More about this item


    job chains; labor mobility; business subsidies; tax incentives; low-wage workers;

    JEL classification:

    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • R30 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - General


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