Category Archives: Incentive design issues

Why the goal of local economic development should be higher earnings per capita, not job growth, and why it matters

Developing good local economic development policies depends in part on having the right goals. Many economic developers and policymakers see economic development as being about increasing local job growth. But increasing local job growth is not a sound goal for … Continue reading

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Obama’s jobs plan

President Obama proposed a $450 billion jobs plan in his address to Congress on September 8. Several reporters have asked me for my opinion on this plan. I think this plan is best described as an ambitious, “kitchen sink” approach … Continue reading

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Job creation policies: Minnesota’s MEED program vs. Georgia Works

There is a huge need for job creation in the U.S. Given the length and severity of the recession, we are short around 12 million jobs compared to what would be needed to be at pre-recession labor market conditions. I’ve … Continue reading

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Top ten points about business incentives in my book

Although the main focus of my book is early childhood programs, I also extensively discuss business incentives.  Even for those interested primarily in early childhood programs, understanding the pros and cons of business incentives is important.  Political debates over state … Continue reading

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Why “100% sales factor apportionment” is relevant to state policy debates over business tax cuts vs. public investments in early childhood programs

An important issue in state policy debates is the relative effectiveness, in boosting state economic development, of these two alternatives: cuts in state corporate taxes; investments in productive public services such as early childhood programs. A crucial point is that … Continue reading

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More devilish details about educational investments versus business tax cuts

A previous post responded to a question from an early childhood and education program advocate, who is trying to convince state legislators and their staff that educational investments compare favorably with business tax cuts. Their question was: “Do we have … Continue reading

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Why business incentive competition within metro areas makes no sense

The April 8 New York Times had an article by A.G. Sulzberger on competition for business within the Kansas City metropolitan area, between the Kansas and Missouri portions of the KC metro area. The article quoted me as saying that … Continue reading

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Governors’ budget proposals reveal debate over how state government can best respond to economic distress

The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) has a useful recent report that summarizes the budget proposals for fiscal year 2012 of 48 Governors. (Fiscal year 2012 runs from July 1 2011 to June 30 2012 in most states.)  … Continue reading

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Community colleges and local economic development

In chapter 12 of Investing in Kids, I consider how more community college graduates affect a state’s economic development. The skills from more graduates of community colleges will spur a state’s economic growth by increasing the skill level of the … Continue reading

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Reforming business incentives: possibilities for state and local reforms

As a series of posts have outlined, many state and local business tax incentives have national benefits less than their costs. A federal policy to restrain such business tax incentives would be in the national interest. However, such a federal … Continue reading

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