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Assessing the Incidence and Efficiency of a Prominent Place Based Policy

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  • Matias Busso
  • Jesse Gregory
  • Patrick M. Kline

Abstract

This paper empirically assesses the incidence and efficiency of Round I of the federal urban Empowerment Zone (EZ) program using confidential microdata from the Decennial Census and the Longitudinal Business Database. To ground our welfare analysis, we develop a heterogeneous agent general equilibrium model in which the distortions generated by place-based policies depend upon a set of reduced form elasticities which our empirical work centers on estimating. Using rejected and future applicants to the EZ program as controls we find that EZ designation substantially increased employment in zone neighborhoods, particularly for zone residents. The program also generated wage increases for workers from zone neighborhoods worth approximately $320M per year. Based upon estimates of the number of jobs created for zone residents, we find that EZ employment credits generated deadweight costs equal to (at most) seven percent of their flow cost.

Suggested Citation

  • Matias Busso & Jesse Gregory & Patrick M. Kline, 2010. "Assessing the Incidence and Efficiency of a Prominent Place Based Policy," NBER Working Papers 16096, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16096
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    References listed on IDEAS

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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. Patrick Bayer & Fernando Ferreira & Robert McMillan, 2007. "A Unified Framework for Measuring Preferences for Schools and Neighborhoods," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(4), pages 588-638, August.
    3. Timothy J. Bartik, 1991. "Who Benefits from State and Local Economic Development Policies?," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number wbsle, November.
    4. David Albouy, 2009. "The Unequal Geographic Burden of Federal Taxation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(4), pages 635-667, August.
    5. Baum-Snow, Nathaniel, 2007. "Suburbanization and transportation in the monocentric model," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(3), pages 405-423, November.
    6. Stephen H. Bell & Larry l. Orr & John D. Blomquist & Glen G. Cain, 1995. "Program Applicants as a Comparison Group in Evaluating Training Programs: Theory and a Test," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number pacg, November.
    7. Timothy J. Bartik, 2004. "Evaluating the Impacts of Local Economic Development Policies on Local Economic Outcomes: What Has Been Done and What Is Doable?," Book chapters authored by Upjohn Institute researchers,in: Evaluating Local Economic and Employment Development: How to Access Waht Works Among Programmes and Policies, pages 113-142 W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    8. 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.
    9. Daniele Bondonio, 2003. "Do Tax Incentives Affect Local Economic Growth? What Mean Impacts Miss in the Analysis of Enterprise Zone Policies," Working Papers 03-17, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • R58 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Regional Development Planning and Policy

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