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

Author

Listed:
  • Anthony Briant

    (SG-CIV - Secrétariat Général du Comité Interministériel des Villes - Ministère de la ville)

  • Miren Lafourcade

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics, PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris, ADIS - Analyse des Dynamiques Industrielles et Sociales - UP11 - Université Paris-Sud - Paris 11 - Département d'Economie)

  • Benoît Schmutz

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics, ADIS - Analyse des Dynamiques Industrielles et Sociales - UP11 - Université Paris-Sud - Paris 11 - Département d'Economie, CREST - Centre de Recherche en Économie et Statistique - ENSAI - Ecole Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Analyse de l'Information [Bruz] - X - École polytechnique - ENSAE ParisTech - École Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Administration Économique)

Abstract

This paper providesempirical support to the intuitive statement that urban geography matters to the success or failure of place-based public policies, using the French enterprise zone program as a case study. According to the few existing evaluations, this program has only had a small positive average impact on firm and job creation rates. In addition, this impact was shown to be strongly heterogeneous across the treated neighborhoods may account for part of these results. We estimate a series of augmented difference-in-differences models in which we interact the treatment indicator with a series of original indicators of spatial isolation, wich account for severance, peripherality and disconnection to transportation networks within the urban area. Results indicate that isolation does matter to explain spatial differentials in job creation and firm settlement rates across enterprise zones: only accessible neighborhoods were able to draw benefits from tax breaks and social exemptions. moreover, whereas the program mostly worked through a displacement effect on pre-existing firms, we show that urban geography was a clear determinant of the decision to create new firms from scratch.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00695225
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00695225
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    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. Gobillon, Laurent & Magnac, Thierry & Selod, Harris, 2012. "Do unemployed workers benefit from enterprise zones? The French experience," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(9-10), pages 881-892.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. Matthew Freedman, 2013. "Targeted Business Incentives and Local Labor Markets," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 48(2), pages 311-344.
    7. Ham, John C. & Swenson, Charles & İmrohoroğlu, Ayşe & 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), pages 779-797.
    8. Edward L. Glaeser & Joshua D. Gottlieb, 2008. "The Economics of Place-Making Policies," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 39(1 (Spring), pages 155-253.
    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. Neumark, David & Kolko, Jed, 2010. "Do enterprise zones create jobs? Evidence from California's enterprise zone program," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 1-19, July.
    11. Timothy J. Bartik, 2004. "Economic Development," Book chapters authored by Upjohn Institute researchers,in: J. Richard Aronson & Eli Schwartz (ed.), Managememnt Policies in Local Government Finance, pages 355-390 W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Enterprise Zones; Spatial Isolation; Transportation Accessibility; Urban Severance;

    JEL classification:

    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • R34 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Input Demand Analysis
    • R38 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Government Policy
    • R58 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Regional Development Planning and Policy

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