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Full-Text Articles in Urban Studies and Planning

The Urban Density Premium Across Establishments, R. Jason Faberman, Matthew Freedman Apr 2016

The Urban Density Premium Across Establishments, R. Jason Faberman, Matthew Freedman

Matthew Freedman

We use longitudinal establishment data to estimate the urban density premium for U.S. establishments, controlling for observed establishment characteristics and dynamic establishment behavior. Consistent with previous studies, we find an elasticity of average establishment earnings with respect to metropolitan area population of 0.03, controlling for the endogeneity of location and establishment and metropolitan area characteristics. More importantly, we find that the estimated density premium is realized almost entirely at entry and is constant over an establishment’s life. We find little evidence that the endogenous entry or exit of establishments can account for any of the estimated density ...


Tax Incentives And Housing Investment In Low-Income Neighborhoods, Matthew Freedman Sep 2015

Tax Incentives And Housing Investment In Low-Income Neighborhoods, Matthew Freedman

Matthew Freedman

This paper examines how tax incentives to promote housing investment affect communities by exploiting the lottery structure of Missouri’s Neighborhood Preservation Act (NPA). The NPA offers tax credits to homeowners and developers that improve or expand the owner-occupied housing stock in low-income areas. Taking advantage of the random assignment of NPA tax credits and detailed property-level data, I find that the program increases construction activity modestly. There are positive but highly localized spillovers on neighbors’ investment behavior. Spillovers on property values are larger in geographic scope, implying important roles for both neighbor interactions and amenity effects in local housing ...


Who Benefits From Environmental Regulation? Evidence From The Clean Air Act Amendments, Antonio Bento, Matthew Freedman, Corey Lang Jul 2015

Who Benefits From Environmental Regulation? Evidence From The Clean Air Act Amendments, Antonio Bento, Matthew Freedman, Corey Lang

Matthew Freedman

Using geographically disaggregated data and exploiting an instrumental variable strategy, we show that, contrary to conventional wisdom, the benefits of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA) were progressive. The CAAA created incentives for local regulators to target the initially dirtiest areas for cleanup, creating heterogeneity in the incidence of air quality improvements that favored lower-income households. Based on house price appreciation, households in the lowest quintile of the income distribution received annual benefits from the program equal to 0.3% of their income on average during the 1990s, over twice as much as those in the highest quintile.

Earlier ...


Place-Based Programs And The Geographic Dispersion Of Employment, Matthew Freedman Jun 2015

Place-Based Programs And The Geographic Dispersion Of Employment, Matthew Freedman

Matthew Freedman

Government efforts to improve local economic conditions by encouraging private investment in targeted communities could affect the broader geographic distribution of employment in a region, especially to the extent that subsidized businesses face few constraints on whom they hire. This paper examines the labor market impacts of investment subsidized by the U.S. federal government’s New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program, which provides tax incentives to promote business investment in low-income neighborhoods. To identify the program’s effects, I exploit a discontinuity in the rule determining the eligibility of census tracts for NMTC-subsidized investment. Using rich administrative data on ...


Low-Income Housing Development, Poverty Concentration, And Neighborhood Inequality, Matthew Freedman, Tamara Mcgavock Dec 2014

Low-Income Housing Development, Poverty Concentration, And Neighborhood Inequality, Matthew Freedman, Tamara Mcgavock

Matthew Freedman

Considerable debate exists about the merits of place-based programs that steer new development, and particularly affordable housing development, into low-income neighborhoods. Exploiting quasi-experimental variation in incentives to construct and rehabilitate rental housing across neighborhoods generated by Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program rules, we explore the impacts of subsidized development on local housing construction, poverty concentration, and neighborhood inequality. While a large fraction of rental housing development spurred by the program is offset by a reduction in the number of new unsubsidized units, housing investment under the LIHTC has measurable effects on the distribution of income within and across communities ...


Targeted Business Incentives And Local Labor Markets, Matthew Freedman Dec 2012

Targeted Business Incentives And Local Labor Markets, Matthew Freedman

Matthew Freedman

This paper uses a regression discontinuity design to examine the effects of geographically targeted business incentives on local labor markets. Unlike elsewhere in the U.S., enterprise zone (EZ) designations in Texas are determined in part by a cutoff rule based on census block group poverty rates. Exploiting this discontinuity as a source of quasi-experimental variation in investment and hiring incentives across areas, I find that EZ designation has a positive effect on resident employment, increasing opportunities mainly in lower-paying industries. While business sitings and expansions spurred by the program are more geographically diffuse, EZ designation is associated with increases ...


Teaching New Markets Old Tricks: The Effects Of Subsidized Investment On Low-Income Neighborhoods, Matthew Freedman Nov 2012

Teaching New Markets Old Tricks: The Effects Of Subsidized Investment On Low-Income Neighborhoods, Matthew Freedman

Matthew Freedman

This paper examines the effects of investment subsidized by the federal government’s New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program, which provides tax incentives to encourage private investment in low-income neighborhoods. I identify the impacts of the program by taking advantage of a discontinuity in the rule determining the eligibility of census tracts for NMTC-subsidized investment. Using this discontinuity as a source of quasi-experimental variation in commercial development across tracts, I find that subsidized investment has modest positive effects on neighborhood conditions in low-income communities. Though spillovers appear to be small and crowd out incomplete, the results suggest that some of ...


The Urban Density Premium Across Establishments, R. Jason Faberman, Matthew Freedman Mar 2012

The Urban Density Premium Across Establishments, R. Jason Faberman, Matthew Freedman

Matthew Freedman

We use longitudinal micro data to estimate the urban density premium for U.S. establishments, controlling for observed establishment characteristics and dynamic establishment behavior. We find that a doubling of urban density increases the average earnings of establishments by between 6 and 10 percent. The result holds after controlling for endogeneity issues and with the use of alternative measures of density. We find strong evidence against accumulated knowledge spillovers over time at the establishment level—that is, the density premium is realized at birth and is constant over the life of establishments. We find little evidence that the endogenous entry ...