This article empirically assesses the incidence and efficiency of Round 1 of the federal urban Empowerment Zone (EZ) program using confidential microdata from the Decennial Census and the Longitudinal Business Database. Using rejected and future applicants to the EZ program as controls, we find that EZ designation substantially increased employment in zone neighborhoods and generated wage increases for local workers without corresponding increases in population or the local cost of living. The results suggest the efficiency costs of the first round o EZs were relatively modest. (author abstract)
Assessing the incidence and efficiency of a prominent place based policy
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