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A comparative evaluation of spacially targeted economic revitalization programs in the European Union and the United States

  • Daniele Bondonio


  • Robert T. Greenbaum


This paper compares and contrasts the United States federal Empowerment Zone and European Union Objective 2 programs that geographically target economic revitalization incentives. Since 1989, both programs have designated predominately industrial or urban areas as being distressed and worthy of government incentives in three separate rounds. The paper uses a probit econometric model to comparatively evaluate the characteristics of the areas that were targeted. The paper finds that while the programs were fashioned for different reasons and thus had different goals, the programs on both continents initially targeted very distressed areas. However, consistent with the fears of critics of spatial targeting, subsequent rounds of designation greatly expanded the programs, and in most cases, lead to less precise targeting.

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Paper provided by ICER - International Centre for Economic Research in its series ICER Working Papers with number 03-2003.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:icr:wpicer:03-2003
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  1. 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.
  2. Robert Greenbaum & John Engberg, 2000. "An Evaluation Of State Enterprise Zone Policies," Review of Policy Research, Policy Studies Organization, vol. 17(2-3), pages 29-45, 06.
  3. Leslie E. Papke, 1993. "What Do We Know about Enterprise Zones?," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 7, pages 37-72 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
  5. Timothy J. Bartik, . "What Should the Federal Government Be Doing About Urban Economic Development?," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles tjb1994c, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  6. 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.
  7. Robert T Greenbaum & John B Engberg, 1998. "The Impact Of State Urban Enterprise Zones On Business Outcomes," Working Papers 98-20, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  8. Timothy J. Bartik, 2000. "Solving the Many Problems with Inner City Jobs," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 00-66, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  9. Peter S. Fisher, 1997. "Tax and spending incentives and enterprise zones," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Mar, pages 109-138.
  10. Bondonio, Daniele, 2001. "Evaluating Decentralized Policies: How to Compare the Performance of Economic Development Programs across Different Regions or States," POLIS Working Papers 16, Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS.
  11. Bondonio, Daniele, 2002. "Evaluating the Employment Impact of Business Incentive Programs in EU Disadvantaged Areas. A case from Northern Italy," POLIS Working Papers 27, Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS.
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