Lesson (un)learning in spatially targeted fiscal incentive policy: Enterprise zones (England) and empowerment zones (US)
Squires, G. and Hall, S. (2013) Lesson (un)learning in spatially targeted fiscal incentive policy: Enterprise zones (England) and empowerment zones (US). Land Use Policy, 33. pp. 81-89. ISSN 0264-8377
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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.landusepol.2012.12.010
There is a need to learn lessons when using spatially targeted fiscal experiments if intervention is to generate wider developmental benefit. This paper focuses on the Enterprise Zone concept in the UK (1981–2007) and an exported variant to the US, the Empowerment Zone programme (1993–2009). Lessons are drawn from these initiatives in order to inform the current wave of Enterprise Zones in England (2011 to current). Located in the context of regeneration and renewal efforts, our findings demonstrate that many potential historic and comparative lessons have not been learned. The morphing of State Enterprise Zones to become Empowerment Zones demonstrated the benefits of public pump priming rather than a simple deregulation of planning consents and taxes. This is in addition to the potential gains offered by promoting good governance and including the community in implementation, plus incorporating measures to address the consequences of structural economic decline such as unemployment and poverty within the policy remit. In the context of the return of Enterprise Zones in England, it is noted that the Coalition government led by David Cameron has not learned the potential benefits of an approach that looks beyond a narrow emphasis on growth.