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Local Economic Development Policies and Business Activity: Dynamic Panel Data Analysis of All County Governments in the State of Georgia

Mikhail Ivonchyk

Economic Development Quarterly, 2022, vol. 36, issue 2, 92-107

Abstract: Governments use economic development incentives to attract new investment and retain existing businesses. Empirical evidence for their effectiveness remains inconclusive. This research tests the effect of incentives on the number of firms, employees, and their payroll in a longitudinal study of all county governments in the state of Georgia over 16 years. It incorporates a comprehensive set of incentives offered by counties to attract and retain businesses and accounts for the frequency of their use and financing level. Empirical findings indicate that industrial development bonds are significantly associated with the number of firms in the average county. This association is stronger in rural areas and not significant in urban counties. Subsidies, on the other hand, tend to be negatively associated with the number of firms in urban counties, but not in rural counties. No incentive is significantly correlated with firm employees or payroll.

Keywords: economic development; economic development incentives; business attraction; business retention; generalized method of moments; GMM (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1177/08912424221085934

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