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The Effects of State and Local Economic Incentives on Business Start-Ups in the United States: County-Level Evidence

Mark Partridge, Sydney Schreiner, Alexandra Tsvetkova and Carlianne Patrick

Economic Development Quarterly, 2020, vol. 34, issue 2, 171-187

Abstract: Even as economic incentives are increasingly used by policy makers to spur state and local economic development, their use is controversial among the public and academics. The authors examine whether state and local incentives lead to higher rates of business start-ups in metropolitan counties. Existing research indicates that start-ups are important for supporting (net) job creation, long-term growth, innovation, and development. The authors find that incentives have a statistically significant, negative relationship with start-up rates in total and for some industries including export-based and others that often receive incentives. The findings support critics who contend that incentives crowd out other economic activity, potentially reducing long-term growth. The authors also find that greater intersectoral job flows are positively linked to total start-ups, consistent with claims of those who advocate for policies that enhance labor market flexibility through reducing barriers to job mobility.

Keywords: business incentives; firm formation; instrumental variable estimation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1177/0891242420916249

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