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Prioritizing Approaches to Economic Development in New England: Skills, Infrastructure, and Tax Incentives
Jeffrey Thompson | 8/18/2010
Abstract:
Jeffrey Thompson presents evidence that investing in state infrastructure and building the skills of the current and future workforce are among the most effective ways to create jobs in New England.

Prioritizing Approaches to Economic Development in New England provides ample evidence that infrastructure (roads, bridges, dams, energy transmission systems, drinking water, and the like) and education are effective approaches for creating jobs and generating economic growth. By necessity, infrastructure repairs employ local workers and use local materials. These activities would also meet an increasingly urgent need: evidence reviewed by Thompson shows that 40% of bridges in the region are structurally deficient; 80% of the regionís dams present significant hazard; most of our roads are in poor or mediocre condition; and our drinking water infrastructure is in need of $12 billion worth of repairs and renovations.

Thompson describes how, instead of making these investments, state policymakers are too often turning to corporate tax breaks to lure businesses to their state and public subsidies for employers who promise to hire workers in the state. These policies have been tried for decades, but Thompson presents the clear evidence that these tax subsidies donít work to create jobs or revitalize state economies.

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