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The impact of Urban Enterprise Zones on establishment location decisions: Evidence from French ZFUs

  • Mayer,T.
  • Mayneris, F.
  • Py, L.

In this paper, we study the impact of a French enterprise zones program -- the``Zones Franches Urbaines'' (ZFUs) policy-- on establishment location decisions. Our empirical analysis is based on an micro-geographic dataset that provides exhaustive information on the location of establishments in France over the period 2002-2007 at the census block level. Our identification strategy, which combines spatial and time differencing, assesses how the probability that an establishment locates in the ZFU area rather than in the non-ZFU area of a municipality changes after the implementation of the policy. We also implement double difference estimations, using the fact that targeted urban areas have been selected in different waves over time. Finally, we exploit a discontinuity in the eligibility criteria of the policy as an exogenous source of variation to estimate the impact of the treatment. We find that conditioning on locating in a municipality that hosts a ZFU, the policy has a positive and sizable impact on the probability to locate in the ZFU part rather than in the non-ZFU part of municipalities. However the impact is highly heterogeneous across zones, industries and firms. Moreover, we show that the policy mostly generates diversion effects within municipalities.

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Paper provided by Banque de France in its series Working papers with number 458.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bfr:banfra:458
Contact details of provider: Postal: Banque de France 31 Rue Croix des Petits Champs LABOLOG - 49-1404 75049 PARIS
Web page: http://www.banque-france.fr/

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  1. Criscuolo, Chiara & Martin, Ralf & Overman, Henry G & Van Reenen, John, 2012. "The causal effects of an industrial policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 8818, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Givord, Pauline & Rathelot, Roland & Sillard, Patrick, 2013. "Place-based tax exemptions and displacement effects: An evaluation of the Zones Franches Urbaines program," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 151-163.
  3. 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.
  4. Anthony Briant & Miren Lafourcade & Benoît Schmutz, 2012. "Can Tax Breaks Beat Geography? Lessons from the French Enterprise Zone Experience," PSE Working Papers halshs-00695225, HAL.
  5. Roland Rathelot & Patrick Sillard, 2008. "The Importance of Local Corporate Taxes in Business Location Decisions: Evidence From French Micro Data," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(527), pages 499-514, 03.
  6. Bondonio, Daniele & Engberg, John, 2000. "Enterprise zones and local employment: evidence from the states' programs," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 519-549, September.
  7. Richard E. Baldwin & Toshihiro Okubo, 2006. "Heterogeneous firms, agglomeration and economic geography: spatial selection and sorting," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(3), pages 323-346, June.
  8. Gobillon, Laurent & Magnac, Thierry & Selod, Harris, 2010. "Do unemployed workers benefit from enterprise zones? The French experience," TSE Working Papers 10-201, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
  9. Crozet, Matthieu & Mayer, Thierry & Mucchielli, Jean-Louis, 2003. "How do Firms Agglomerate? A Study of FDI in France," CEPR Discussion Papers 3873, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Richard Baldwin & Toshihiro Okubo, 2009. "Tax Reform, Delocation, and Heterogeneous Firms," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 111(4), pages 741-764, December.
  11. Matias Busso & Jesse Gregory & Patrick M. Kline, 2010. "Assessing the Incidence and Efficiency of a Prominent Place Based Policy," NBER Working Papers 16096, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Devereux, Michael P. & Griffith, Rachel & Simpson, Helen, 2007. "Firm location decisions, regional grants and agglomeration externalities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(3-4), pages 413-435, April.
  13. Boarnet, Marlon G. & Bogart, William T., 1996. "Enterprise Zones and Employment: Evidence from New Jersey," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 198-215, September.
  14. Henry Overman & Elias Einio, 2012. "The Effects of Spatially Targeted Enterprise Initiatives: Evidence from UK LEGI," ERSA conference papers ersa12p164, European Regional Science Association.
  15. Daniele Bondonio, 2003. "Do Tax Incentives Affect Local Economic Growth? What Mean Impacts Miss in the Analysis of Enterprise Zone Policies," Working Papers 03-17, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
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