Tax Policy and Local Labor Market Behavior
61 Pages Posted: 12 Feb 2019 Last revised: 6 Sep 2021
Date Written: February 2019
Since 2002, the US government has encouraged business investment using accelerated depreciation policies that significantly reduce investment costs. We provide the first in-depth analysis of this stimulus on employment and earnings. Our local labor markets approach exploits cross-industry differences in policy generosity interacted with county-level variation in industry concentration. Places that experience larger decreases in investment costs see a level increase in employment that implies a $53,000 cost-per-job. We find no positive effects on average earnings. In contrast, we document a persistent growth in capital. These results imply a capital-labor substitution elasticity that grows over time and can exceed unity.
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