1. Evaluating the Incidence of Place-Based Policies on Land Values: Evidence from the New Markets Tax Credit Program
Abstract: Redistributing jobs and income via business-oriented subsidies to residents in and near economically disadvantaged areas are prominent motivations for place-based policies. However, theory posits that in the absence of market frictions, mobile factors, such as labor and capital, will relocate to targeted areas and the price of land--the only immobile factor--will rise to meet the increased demand. Thus, the long-run incidence of the subsidy will fall onto landowners, diminishing the redistributive impact of the policy. I test this theoretical prediction by evaluating the case of the federal government's New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program, which awards tax credits to private investors financing projects in Low-Income Communities (LICs). Using restricted-access commercial land data from CoStar and exploiting a discontinuity in the rule determining census tracts' eligibility for the NMTC, I find causal evidence that LIC designation increases average commercial land values. This result, together with past studies on the NMTC that find only slight improvements to the living conditions of LIC residents, leads me to conclude that a substantial portion of the benefits of the NMTC accrue to landowners.
2. Effects of Recreational Marijuana Dispensaries on Nearby Retail Rents
Abstract: Using proprietary commercial real estate data from CoStar, this paper is the first to estimate the highly localized effect of a recreational marijuana dispensary opening on nearby retail rents. To account for the potentially endogenous relationship between marijuana dispensary location and retail rents, the analysis focuses on Washington State, where recreational marijuana dispensary licenses were distributed via a lottery in 2014. Hedonic difference-in-differences modeling is employed, in which identification comes from comparing areas where a recreational marijuana dispensary opens, before and after its opening, to counterfactual areas where lottery losers would have potentially opened. The estimated effects for various radii around actual and counterfactual dispensary locations are small and statistically indistinguishable from zero, but there is some evidence of positive externalities in low-income urban areas. This suggests that the spillover effects of recreational marijuana dispensaries onto nearby businesses are small or offsetting. These findings are pertinent to local governments in states with recreational marijuana laws that are evaluating the potential benefits and costs from allowing recreational marijuana dispensaries.
3. Availability of Grandparent-Provided Childcare and Mothers' Labor Market Outcomes
Abstract: A fuzzy regression discontinuity (RD) research design that leverages the United States Social Security early-retirement age threshold is used to estimate the effects of the grandparent being past the early-retirement age on own labor supply and the mother's labor market outcomes. The analysis is performed on a sample of three-generation households (i.e. households with a grandparent, a mother and a child) for whom the interplay of labor supply between the two older generations is presumed to be the greatest. Grandparents' labor supply decreases at the early-retirement age threshold, but the magnitude and precision of the estimated effects are sensitive to model specification, while effects on mothers' labor market outcomes are statistically indistinguishable from zero across all models. These findings differ from those of recent literature that use pension-reform induced changes to find large positive labor supply effects for mothers and pension eligible grandmothers. Although future reforms aimed at making pension systems more financially viable might still account for the intergenerational redistribution of labor and its effect on tax revenues for the general population, the sample of households studied in this research appears to be largely unresponsive to the Social Security early-retirement age.
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