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Generating Jobs through State Employer Tax Credits: Is there a Better Way? (Revised)
Abstract:

Revised April 13, 2010

The Governors of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and several other states have recently proposed employer tax credits as measures to fight high unemployment in their states. Such policies are also being considered at the federal level. In the Working Paper, Jeff Thompson and Heidi Garrett-Peltier present evidence that such policies, in fact, do little to increase aggregate demand, and instead only modestly reduce the after-tax cost of labor in an economy with high unemployment, falling wages, and weak demand They suggest a more effective approach to creating jobs in the states: increasing spending in labor-intensive sectors and programs that are matched by federal funds, such as Medicaid. These expenditures would be particularly effective if they were financed through temporary high-income tax increases.

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