Fannie Mae Foundation

In the past two decades, more than 40 states have implemented enterprise zone programs to encourage business activity and revitalize distressed communities. The authors argue that previous evaluations (predominantly at the zone or state level) on the impact of these programs have been inconclusive. They examine the impact of zones on the growth in housing values in 22 states, using a large sample of small cities both with and without enterprise zones. They find that, on average, zones do not increase housing values, although they do have a positive impact in tight housing markets.

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