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

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

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.

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Paper provided by CEPREMAP in its series CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) with number 1316.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpm:docweb:1316
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  1. Wang, Jin, 2013. "The economic impact of Special Economic Zones: Evidence from Chinese municipalities," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 133-147.
  2. P. Givord & R. Rathelot & P. Sillard, 2011. "Place-based tax exemptions and displacement effects: An evaluation of the Zones Franches Urbaines program," Documents de Travail de la DESE - Working Papers of the DESE g2011-13, Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques, DESE.
  3. 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.
  4. Angus Deaton, 2010. "Instruments, Randomization, and Learning about Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(2), pages 424-55, June.
  5. Eleonora Patacchini & Yves Zenou, 2007. "Spatial dependence in local unemployment rates," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(2), pages 169-191, March.
  6. 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.
  7. Kline, Patrick & Moretti, Enrico, 2013. "Place Based Policies with Unemployment," CEPR Discussion Papers 9330, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Matias Busso & Jesse Gregory & Patrick Kline, 2013. "Assessing the Incidence and Efficiency of a Prominent Place Based Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(2), pages 897-947, April.
  9. P. Givord & S. Quantin & C. Trevien, 2012. "A Long-Term Evaluation of the First Generation of the French Urban Enterprise Zones," Documents de Travail de la DESE - Working Papers of the DESE g2012-01, Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques, DESE.
  10. Patrick Sillard & Roland Rathelot, 2008. "Zones Franches Urbaines : quels effets sur l'emploi salarié et les créations d'établissements ?," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 415(1), pages 81-96.
  11. Jed Kolko & David Neumark, 2010. "Do some enterprise zones create jobs?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(1), pages 5-38.
  12. David Neumark & Jed Kolko, 2008. "Do Enterprise Zones Create Jobs? Evidence from California's Enterprise Zone Program," NBER Working Papers 14530, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Edward L. Glaeser & Joshua D. Gottlieb, 2008. "The Economics of Place-Making Policies," NBER Working Papers 14373, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Patrick Kline, 2010. "Place Based Policies, Heterogeneity, and Agglomeration," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 383-87, May.
  15. Landers, Jim, 2006. "Why Don't Enterprise Zones Work? Estimates of the Extent that EZ Benefits are Capitalized into Property Values," Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy, Mid-Continent Regional Science Association, vol. 36(1).
  16. 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.
  17. Bondonio, Daniele & Greenbaum, Robert T., 2007. "Do local tax incentives affect economic growth? What mean impacts miss in the analysis of enterprise zone policies," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 121-136, January.
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