Jobs for the Heartland: Place-Based Policies in 21st Century America

85 Pages Posted: 2 May 2018

See all articles by Benjamin Austin

Benjamin Austin

California State University, East Bay

Edward L. Glaeser

Harvard University - Department of Economics; Brookings Institution; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Larry Summers

Harvard University

Date Written: April 2018

Abstract

The economic convergence of American regions has greatly slowed, and rates of long-term non-employment have even been diverging. Simultaneously, the rate of non-employment for working age men has nearly tripled over the last 50 years, generating a terrible social problem that is disproportionately centered in the eastern parts of the American heartland. Should more permanent economic divisions across space lead American economists to rethink their traditional skepticism about place-based policies? We document that increases in labor demand appear to have greater impacts on employment in areas where not working has been historically high, suggesting that subsidizing employment in such places could particularly reduce the not working rate. Pro-employment policies, such as a ramped up Earned Income Tax Credit, that are targeted towards regions with more elastic employment responses, however financed, could plausibly reduce suffering and materially improve economic performance.

Suggested Citation

Austin, Benjamin and Glaeser, Edward L. and Summers, Larry, Jobs for the Heartland: Place-Based Policies in 21st Century America (April 2018). NBER Working Paper No. w24548, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3170812

Benjamin Austin (Contact Author)

California State University, East Bay

25800 Carlos Bee Boulevard
Hayward, CA California 94542
United States

Edward L. Glaeser

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

Littauer Center
Room 315A
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-496-2150 (Phone)
617-496-1722 (Fax)

Brookings Institution

1775 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20036-2188
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Larry Summers

Harvard University ( email )

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
14
Abstract Views
192
PlumX Metrics