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Do California's Enterprise Zones Create Jobs?
Jed Kolko and David Neumark

June 2009

California’s enterprise zone program was established to spur business and job creation in economically distressed areas. Offering tax credits and other incentives to businesses throughout the state, it is California’s largest economic development program. But does it work? This report finds that enterprise zones have no overall effect on job growth. There are some positive findings: for example, the program raises employment more in zones with smaller manufacturing shares, and marketing and outreach efforts seem to be helpful. But the report’s main finding calls into question the wisdom of investing in the program as it stands.