Enterprise Zones Work! (at a price)

That’s the European experience, according to recent research by economists Laurent Gobillon, Thierry Magnac & Harris Selod:

We found a small positive effect of the enterprise zone programme. In each municipality in our sample, while on average about 300 unemployed workers find a job every semester, enterprise zones help an additional group of 10 workers to find a job over the same duration. . . . These job effects are also small given the huge cost associated with the policy. . . . for each job held by an enterprise zone resident, almost €9,000 were granted in wage tax exemptions. The cost associated with the hire of an unemployed worker residing in an enterprise zone is even greater.

You can read a summary of their findings here.