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The Impact of Urban Enterprise Zones on Establishments' Location Decisions: Evidence from French ZFUs

  • Mayer, Thierry
  • Mayneris, Florian
  • Py, Loriane

In this paper, we study the impact of a French enterprise zones program---the ``Zones Franches Urbaines'' (ZFUs) policy---on establishments' location decisions. Our empirical analysis is based on a micro-geographic dataset which provides exhaustive information on the location of establishments in France over the period 2000-2007 at the census block level. We use a difference in difference approach combining spatial and time differencing. We also do triple 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. Our results show that the French ZFU policy has a positive and sizable impact on location choices. However, we also find that the policy mostly generates displacement effects, in particular through relocation of firms from the un-treated to the treated part within municipalities. Finally, the impact is shown to be highly heterogeneous across zones, firms and industries. The overall cost of moving establishments within municipalities is relatively high.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 9074.

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Date of creation: Aug 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9074
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  1. Matias Busso & Jesse Gregory & Patrick Kline, 2011. "Assessing the Incidence and Efficiency of a Prominent Place Based Policy," Working Papers 11-07, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
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  3. repec:aea:aejpol:v:7:y:2015:i:2:p:88-124 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Laurent Gobillon & Thierry Magnac & Harris Selod, 2010. "Do Unemployed Workers Benefit from Enterprise Zones ? The French Experience," Working Papers 2010-45, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  5. 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.
  6. Gilles Duranton & Laurent Gobillon & Henry G Overman, 2006. "Assessing the effects of local taxation using microgeographic data," Working Papers tecipa-247, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  7. Richard Baldwin & Toshihiro Okubo, 2009. "Tax reform, delocation and heterogeneous firms," NBER Working Papers 15109, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  9. Matthieu Crozet & Thierry Mayer & Jean-Louis Mucchielli, 2004. "How do firms Agglomerate? A Study of FDI in France," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00268770, HAL.
  10. 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.
  11. Papke, Leslie E., 1994. "Tax policy and urban development : Evidence from the Indiana enterprise zone program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 37-49, May.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Joel A. Elvery, 2009. "The Impact of Enterprise Zones on Resident Employment," Economic Development Quarterly, , vol. 23(1), pages 44-59, February.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
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