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Targeted business incentives and the debt behavior of households

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  • Wenhua Di
  • Daniel Millimet

Abstract

The empirical effects of place-based tax incentive schemes designed to aid low-income communities are unclear. While a growing number of studies find beneficial effects on employment, there is little investigation into other behaviors of households affected by such programs. We analyze the impact of the Texas Enterprise Zone Program on household debt and delinquency. Specifically, we utilize detailed information on all household liabilities, delinquencies, and credit scores from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York Consumer Credit Panel/Equifax, a quarterly longitudinal 5% random sample of all individuals in the US with a social security number and a credit report. We identify the causal effect of the program by using a sharp regression discontinuity approach that exploits the known institutional rules of the program. We find a modest positive impact on the repayment of retail loans, and the evidence of an increase in the delinquency rates of auto loans, as well as in Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings.

Suggested Citation

  • Wenhua Di & Daniel Millimet, 2016. "Targeted business incentives and the debt behavior of households," Working Papers 1602, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:feddwp:1602
    DOI: 10.24149/wp1602
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Enterprise zones; debt; consumer finance; regression discontinuity;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • G02 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Behavioral Finance: Underlying Principles
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household

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