Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Robbing Peter to Pay Paul: The Employment Effects of the Missouri Quality Jobs Program

Wall, Howard (2013): Robbing Peter to Pay Paul: The Employment Effects of the Missouri Quality Jobs Program.

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Abstract

This paper is an assessment of the employment effects of the Missouri Quality Jobs Program, which awards tax credits to businesses so as to spur state job creation. According to the Missouri Department of Economic Development, which adminsters the program, the tax credits rewarded under the program have, created more than 10,000 new jobs, so far, and will generate a net increase of more than 50,000 jobs by 2020. My estimates indicate, however, that the program simply transfers jobs to subsidized projects from the rest of the economy, while also creating labor-market distortions. My baseline estimates indicate that there were about 5,000 fewer private-sector jobs in Missouri in 2011 because of the program. Alternative estimates suggest even larger job losses. The most-likely best-case scenario for the long run is that the hundreds of millions of dollars transferred to businesses under the program will have led to no net change in state employment.

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