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Do Enterprise Zones Create Jobs? Evidence from California's Enterprise Zone Program

  • David Neumark
  • Jed Kolko

We use new establishment-level data and geographic mapping methods to improve upon evaluations of the effectiveness of state enterprise zones, focusing on California's program. Because zone boundaries do not follow census tracts or zip codes, we created digitized maps of original zone boundaries and later expansions. We combine these maps with geocoded observations on most businesses located in California. The evidence indicates that enterprise zones do not increase employment. We also find no shift of employment toward the lower-wage workers targeted by enterprise zone incentives. We conclude that the program is ineffective in achieving its primary goals.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14530.

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Date of creation: Dec 2008
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Publication status: published as Jed Kolko & David Neumark, 2010. "Do some enterprise zones create jobs?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(1), pages 5-38.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14530
Note: LS PE
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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  1. David Neumark & Junfu Zhang & Brandon Wall, 2005. "Employment Dynamics and Business Relocation: New Evidence from the National Establishment Time Series," PPIC Working Papers 2005.11, Public Policy Institute of California.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. O'Keefe, Suzanne, 2004. "Job creation in California's enterprise zones: a comparison using a propensity score matching model," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 131-150, January.
  6. Jed Kolko & David Neumark, 2010. "Do some enterprise zones create jobs?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(1), pages 5-38.
  7. Richard V. Burkhauser & Kosali I. Simon, 2007. "Who Gets What from Employer Pay or Play Mandates?," NBER Working Papers 13578, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Matias Busso & Patrick Kline, 2008. "Do Local Economic Development Programs Work? Evidence from the Federal Empowerment Zone Program," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1639, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  9. Marlon G. Boarnet, 2001. "Enterprise Zones and Job Creation: Linking Evaluation and Practice," Economic Development Quarterly, , vol. 15(3), pages 242-254, August.
  10. 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.
  11. A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach & Douglas L. Miller, 2008. "Bootstrap-Based Improvements for Inference with Clustered Errors," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 414-427, August.
  12. Alan H. Peters & Peter S. Fisher, 2002. "State Enterprise Zone Programs: Have They Worked?," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number sezp, June.
  13. Dan Y. Dabney, 1991. "Do Enterprise Zone Incentives Affect Business Location Decisions?," Economic Development Quarterly, , vol. 5(4), pages 325-334, November.
  14. Bondonio, Daniele & Greenbaum, Robert T., 2007. "Do local tax incentives affect economic growth? What mean impacts miss in the analysis of enterprise zone policies," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 121-136, January.
  15. Juhn, Chinhui, 1992. "Decline of Male Labor Market Participation: The Role of Declining Market Opportunities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(1), pages 79-121, February.
  16. David Neumark & William L. Wascher, 2008. "Minimum Wages," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262141027, June.
  17. 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.
  18. David E. Dowall, 1996. "An Evaluation of California's Enterprise Zone Programs," Economic Development Quarterly, , vol. 10(4), pages 352-368, November.
  19. 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.
  20. Raphael W. Bostic & Allen C. Prohofsky, 2006. "Enterprise Zones and Individual Welfare: A Case Study of California," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(2), pages 175-203.
  21. Joel A. Elvery, 2009. "The Impact of Enterprise Zones on Resident Employment," Economic Development Quarterly, , vol. 23(1), pages 44-59, February.
  22. Landers, Jim, 2006. "Why Don't Enterprise Zones Work? Estimates of the Extent that EZ Benefits are Capitalized into Property Values," Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy, Mid-Continent Regional Science Association, vol. 36(1).
  23. Robert T. Greenbaum & John B. Engberg, 2004. "The impact of state enterprise zones on urban manufacturing establishments," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(2), pages 315-339.
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