Do Incentive Programs Cause Growth? The Case of the Oklahoma Quality Jobs Program and Community-Level Economic Growth

Source: Brian E. Whitacre, David Shideler, Randi Williams, Economic Development Quarterly, Vol. 30 no. 1, February 2016
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From the abstract:
The academic literature on economic development incentive programs has generated mixed results, though most studies conclude that incentives do not lead to economic growth. Oklahoma has received high praise for its innovative Quality Jobs program, because it provides cash payments (not tax incentives) and emphasizes jobs with high wages and benefits. However, few evaluations of the program’s success in growing the state’s economy have been made. This study employs multivariate regression and mixed-pair analysis techniques and concludes that the economic growth between 1990 and 2005 was not statistically different between Oklahoma communities with businesses participating in the Quality Jobs program and those that were not participating. There was, however, a statistical difference in median household income growth when Oklahoma communities with participating businesses were compared with similar Kansas communities.