Article

Empowerment Zones, neighborhood change and owner-occupied housing

Regional Science and Urban Economics (Impact Factor: 1.01). 07/2009; 39(4):386-396. DOI: 10.1111/j.0042-7092.2007.00700.x
Source: RePEc

ABSTRACT This paper examines the effects of a generous, spatially targeted economic development policy (the federal Empowerment Zone program) on local neighborhood characteristics and on the neighborhood quality of life, taking into account the interactions amongst the policy, changes in neighborhood demographics and neighborhood housing stock. Urban economic theory posits that housing prices in a small area should increase as quality of life increases, because people will be willing to pay more to live in the area, but these changes in prices and quality of life will also affect the demographics of the population through sorting and the housing stock through reinvestment. Using census block-group level data, we examine how housing prices respond to the Empowerment Zone policy intervention. Changes in the other dimensions of neighborhood quality (demographics and housing stock characteristics) will also help determine the total -- or full -- effect on housing values of the policy intervention. This paper estimates these direct and full effects in a simultaneous equations setting, compares direct and indirect effects and examines the robustness of the effects to alternate estimation strategies. We find strong evidence for substantively large and highly significant direct price effects, while results suggest that the indirect effects are substantively small or even negative.

0 Bookmarks
 · 
108 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We examine how location-based tax incentives affect quality of life and business environment through changes in property values and equilibrium wages. Using the federal Empowerment Zone program, we determine whether offering tax incentives to firms improves the welfare of the citizens and attractiveness to firms. We demonstrate that quality of life methodologies can be applied using small geographically aggregated data, such as census block groups. We find that the tax incentives offered by the program notably enhances the quality of business environment for firms in the area while modestly improving the quality of life for the individuals living in the area.
    Journal of Regional Science 07/2013; · 2.00 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Although business incentive programs of different forms have been the bulk of local economic development policies in many industrialized countries for more than the last three decades, evaluating their impact on employment or local economic growth outcomes remains a challenging task due to the persisting lack of randomized experiments and the presence of many confounding factors which affect firms and economic growth outcomes. Moreover, much of the recent advancements in the statistical program evaluation methodology applicable to non-experimental settings do not make any direct reference to the specificities posed by business incentive policies. This paper aims at offering some clear guidance on how to choose the appropriate focus of the evaluation, the policy relevant evaluation parameters and empirical impact identification strategies when applying statistical methods attempting to estimate how much of the different outcomes between treatment and control groups are attributable to the program/s being evaluated. Each methodological option discussed in the paper is linked to the different features of commonly implemented US and EU policies and to whether or not the analysis focuses on outcomes recorded at a firm-level or at the level of the geographic areas in which the assisted firms are located.
    08/2009;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The vast majority of states have implemented some version of enterprise zone (EZ) programs, which geographically target economic development efforts to revitalize distressed areas. While EZs have been studied extensively, there is little evidence that they have succeeded. Despite this, the number of programs, the number of EZs designated, and the land area covered by these zones have grown over time. This essay reviews the research on state EZ programs and explores why it has not had a greater influence on policy. One explanation we discuss is that the research has not been made accessible enough to policy makers and their staffs. Another explanation we posit is that political decision making that guides policy on EZ programs is influenced by many actors and sources of information not just the academic research literature. The essay discusses how the establishment or expansion of EZ programs may be encouraged by EZ businesses and landlords engaging in rent seeking behavior. The essay concludes by providing some recommendations regarding how the research community can make its work more relevant for state and local policy makers and how policy makers can become better consumers of evaluative research when implementing and refining programs.
    International Regional Science Review 01/2009; 32(4):466-479. · 0.73 Impact Factor

Full-text (3 Sources)

Download
43 Downloads
Available from
Jun 1, 2014