What is the Impact of Opportunity Zones on Employment Outcomes?

37 Pages Posted: 26 Aug 2020 Last revised: 21 Sep 2020

See all articles by Rachel M. B. Atkins

Rachel M. B. Atkins

New York University (NYU) - Department of Management and Organizational Behavior

Pablo Hernandez-Lagos

New York University, Abu Dhabi

Cristian Jara-Figueroa

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Robert Seamans

New York University (NYU) - Leonard N. Stern School of Business

Date Written: September 18, 2020

Abstract

We study the effect of Opportunity Zones (OZs) on employment outcomes. We match zip
codes with OZs to a control group of similar zip codes that do not have any OZs, and compare
job postings and posted salaries across these two groups over time. We find that zip codes with
OZs have fewer job postings but higher posted salaries. Both effects are very small in magnitude,
and the significance of the result depends on specification. We find no evidence that the results
vary by race. Our findings suggest that, so far, OZs have had a very limited effect on employment
outcomes. We suggest several policy considerations that may help the OZ program to be more
effective.

Keywords: Opportunity Zones, Employment, Wages, Job Postings

JEL Classification: J18, J21, J31

Suggested Citation

Atkins, Rachel and Hernandez-Lagos, Pablo and Jara-Figueroa, Cristian and Seamans, Robert, What is the Impact of Opportunity Zones on Employment Outcomes? (September 18, 2020). NYU Stern School of Business, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3673986 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3673986

Rachel Atkins

New York University (NYU) - Department of Management and Organizational Behavior ( email )

44 West 4th Street
New York, NY 10012
United States

Pablo Hernandez-Lagos

New York University, Abu Dhabi ( email )

PO Box 903
NYC, NY 10276-0903
United States

HOME PAGE: http://pablohernandez-lagos.com

Cristian Jara-Figueroa

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) ( email )

77 Massachusetts Avenue
50 Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
United States

Robert Seamans (Contact Author)

New York University (NYU) - Leonard N. Stern School of Business ( email )

44 West 4th Street
Suite 9-160
New York, NY NY 10012
United States

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