Sunday, September 05, 2004

 

Do enterprise zones help?

It appears that after presiding over the loss of tens of thousands of jobs in Ohio, the Bush administration wants Ohioans to forget all that. Bush wants a "do-over" for what he is going to do for Ohio and - ta dah - its Enterprise Zones.

The problem is that Enterprise Zones have been pretty well documented as mainly benefiting the higher income communities and delivering little or no benefits to lower-income areas. In other words, if the point is to create jobs where there is high unemployment, Enterprise Zones ain't the way to go.

For example, the non-partisan, non-profit Policy Matters Ohio think tank studied the effects of Enterprise Zones in Ohio and found that:
• With population, race, and urbanization effects accounted for, higher-income districts are likely to have more new jobs associated with the program than lower-income districts.
• Higher-income districts are likely to have more real property investment associated with EZP than their lower-income counterparts, controlling for population, racial composition, and degree of urbanization.
• More urban districts are likely to have less personal property investment associated with the program than districts with fewer urban residents.
• Racial composition of a district was not related to any of the EZ-related benefits.
• Very high-income districts were likely to receive twice as many new EZ-related jobs than very low-income school districts.
• Very high-income districts were likely to receive nearly five times as much EZrelated real property investment as very low-income school districts.

Hopefully, the folks over at the Ohio Kerry campaign offices and the Ohio Democratic Party have read it already. Hey guys - Policy Matters also has a nifty one-page crib sheet on Enterprise zones here.

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