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Decomposing the employment effects of investment subsidies

Augusto Cerqua () and Guido Pellegrini ()

Journal of Urban Economics, 2022, vol. 128, issue C

Abstract: Most governments tackle the economic issues of underdeveloped areas by offering subsidies aimed at fostering economic activities and local employment. Localized policies put constraints on where businesses may locate to receive subsidies, but they generally place few restrictions on whom subsidized businesses must hire. Using administrative data on firms and workers in Italy, we adopt a multi-cutoff regression discontinuity design to empirically assess and decompose the employment effect of substantial incentives for the replacement or establishment of new capital. Our empirical strategy allows identifying the geographical origin and labor market status of new hires. The results show how the majority of recruits come from new entrants to the labor market, in particular, young people and students, while displacement effects are limited. It appears that subsidized companies tend to keep their most valuable staff and hire more qualified young people. Overall, we find only a modest spatial dispersion of the effects or a possible crowding-out of the local labor market.

Keywords: Local labor market; Place-based policy; Labor mobility; Regression discontinuity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C14 H25 J60 R23 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jue.2021.103408

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