What is the Impact of Opportunity Zones on Employment?

23 Pages Posted: 26 Aug 2020 Last revised: 2 Aug 2021

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: July 31, 2021

Abstract

We study the effect of Opportunity Zones (OZs) on job postings using data comprising the
near-universe of US online job postings. The OZs program grants tax breaks for investment in
distressed communities. Each state’s governor nominated OZs based on a variety of factors. We
use propensity score matching to account for those factors and a difference-in-differences model
over the matched sample to estimate the effect of the program. We find no evidence of an increase
in job postings overall, although we do find positive effects in urban areas, in areas with above
median Black population, and in some states.

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? (July 31, 2021). 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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