Do Local Economic Development Programs Work? Evidence from the Federal Empowerment Zone Program

59 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2008

See all articles by Matias Busso

Matias Busso

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)

Patrick Kline

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics

Date Written: February 1, 2008

Abstract

This paper evaluates the impact of Round I of the federal urban Empowerment Zone (EZ) program on neighborhood level labor and housing market outcomes over the period 1994-2000. Using four decades of Census data in conjunction with information on the proposed boundaries of rejected EZs, we find that neighborhoods receiving EZ designation experienced substantial improvements in labor market conditions and moderate increases in rents relative to rejected and future zones. These effects were accompanied by small changes in the demographic composition of the neighborhoods, though evidence from disaggregate Census tabulations suggests that these changes account for little of the observed improvements.

Keywords: Program evaluation, Local economic development, Empowerment zones

JEL Classification: H2, O1, R58, C21

Suggested Citation

Busso, Matias and Kline, Patrick, Do Local Economic Development Programs Work? Evidence from the Federal Empowerment Zone Program (February 1, 2008). Cowles Foundation Discussion Paper No. 1638, Yale Economics Department Working Paper No. 36, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1090838

Matias Busso

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) ( email )

1300 New York Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20577
United States

Patrick Kline (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics ( email )

508-1 Evans Hall #3880
Berkeley, CA 94720-3880
United States

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