NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Tax Policy and Local Labor Market Behavior

Daniel G. Garrett, Eric C. Ohrn, Juan Carlos Suárez Serrato

NBER Working Paper No. 25546
Issued in February 2019
NBER Program(s):Economic Fluctuations and Growth Program, Labor Studies Program, Public Economics Program

Since 2002, the US government has encouraged business investment using accelerated depreciation policies that significantly reduce investment costs. We provide the first in-depth analysis of this stimulus on employment and earnings. Our local labor markets approach exploits cross-industry differences in policy generosity interacted with county-level variation in industry concentration. Places that experience larger decreases in investment costs see a level increase in employment that implies a $53,000 cost-per-job. We find no positive effects on average earnings. In contrast, we document a persistent growth in capital. These results imply a capital-labor substitution elasticity that grows over time and can exceed unity.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w25546

 
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