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Does federal contracting spur development? Federal contracts, income, output, and jobs in US cities

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  • Michiel Gerritse
  • Andres Rodrigues-Pose

Abstract

Government contracts are frequently courted by firms and governments alike as a solution to generate more jobs, income, and economic growth. However, the development impact of government contracts remains controversial. This paper uses georeferenced data on United States (US) federal contracts, distinguishing between the location of the recipient and the location of performance, for the years 2005-2014 in order to assess the extent to which federal government contracting has contributed to job and wealth generation and economic growth in metropolitan areas of the US. The results of the analysis show that individuals living in cities with a higher share of contract spending per capita witnessed improvements in employment. Aggregate GDP per capita also rose in cities hosting the companies receiving the contracts. However, the effects Ð once reverse causality and spurious trends are controlled for using a fine-scale fixed effect strategy and instrumentation Ð are very small, raising reasonable questions about the viability of federal contracting as a vehicle for economic development.Ê

Suggested Citation

  • Michiel Gerritse & Andres Rodrigues-Pose, 2017. "Does federal contracting spur development? Federal contracts, income, output, and jobs in US cities," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1703, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Jan 2017.
  • Handle: RePEc:egu:wpaper:1703
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    2. Neil Lee & Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, 2021. "Entrepreneurship and the fight against poverty in US cities," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 53(1), pages 31-52, February.
    3. Andrés Rodríguez‐Pose & Roberto Ganau & Kristina Maslauskaite & Monica Brezzi, 2021. "Credit constraints, labor productivity, and the role of regional institutions: Evidence from manufacturing firms in Europe," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(2), pages 299-328, March.
    4. Komarek, Timothy M. & Butts, Kyle & Wagner, Gary A., 2022. "Government Contracting, Labor Intensity, and the Local Effects of Fiscal Consolidation: Evidence from the Budget Control Act of 2011," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 132(C).
    5. Borys Cie?lak & Paula Nagler & Frank van Oort, 2023. "Regional Capital No More. How the Reform of the Territorial Government has Marginalized Polish Middle-sized Cities," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 23-001/VIII, Tinbergen Institute.
    6. Komarek, Timothy M. & Wagner, Gary A., 2020. "The distributional effects of job loss from fiscal consolidation: Evidence from the Budget Control Act of 2011," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 196(C).
    7. Räsänen, Johannes & Mäkelä, Erik, 2021. "The effect of government spending on local economies during an economic downturn," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 134(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Federal contracting; government spending; jobs; wages; economic growth; urban development;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • R38 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Government Policy
    • O23 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Fiscal and Monetary Policy in Development
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy; Modern Monetary Theory
    • R58 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Regional Development Planning and Policy

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