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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. 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. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. 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.
  5. Corentin Trevien & Pauline Givord & Simon Quantin, 2012. "A Long-Term Evaluation of the First Generation of the French Urban Enterprise Zones," ERSA conference papers ersa12p776, European Regional Science Association.
  6. 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.
  7. Jed Kolko & David Neumark, 2009. "Do Some Enterprise Zones Create Jobs?," NBER Working Papers 15206, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Matthew Freedman, 2013. "Targeted Business Incentives and Local Labor Markets," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 48(2), pages 311-344.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Ham, John C. & Swenson, Charles & Imrohoroglu, Ayse & 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(7-8), pages 779-797, August.
  12. Kline, Patrick & Moretti, Enrico, 2013. "Place Based Policies with Unemployment," CEPR Discussion Papers 9330, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. repec:pri:rpdevs:deaton_instruments_randomization_learning_all_04april_2010 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. 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.
  15. Angus Deaton, 2010. "Instruments, randomization, and learning about development," Working Papers 1224, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
  16. 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.
  17. Edward L. Glaeser & Joshua D. Gottlieb, 2008. "The Economics of Place-Making Policies," NBER Working Papers 14373, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. Roland Rathelot & Patrick Sillard, 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.
  21. 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).
  22. Patrick Kline, 2010. "Place Based Policies, Heterogeneity, and Agglomeration," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 383-87, May.
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