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Can Tax Breaks Beat Geography? Lessons from the French Enterprise Zone Experience

Author

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  • Briant, Anthony
  • Lafourcade, Miren
  • Schmutz, Benoît

Abstract

This paper demonstrates that geography matters to the effectiveness of place-based policies, using the French enterprise zone program as a case study. Using a series of indicators of spatial isolation for treated and non treated neighborhoods, we show that geographical heterogeneity determines the ability of the program to impact firms’ settlements, job creation and earnings. In particular, whereas a focus on the average impact of the program would lead to the conclusion that it mostly succeeded in displacing pre-existing firms, a lower level of spatial isolation was a clear determinant of the decision to create new firms from scratch.

Suggested Citation

  • Briant, Anthony & Lafourcade, Miren & Schmutz, Benoît, 2013. "Can Tax Breaks Beat Geography? Lessons from the French Enterprise Zone Experience," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) 1316, CEPREMAP.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpm:docweb:1316
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Angus Deaton, 2010. "Instruments, Randomization, and Learning about Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(2), pages 424-455, June.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
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    5. 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.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    enterprise zones; spatial isolation; transportation accessibility; urban severance;

    JEL classification:

    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • R34 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Input Demand Analysis
    • R38 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Government Policy
    • R58 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Regional Development Planning and Policy

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