Big Pushes, Little Hollywoods? Local Economic Development Effects of Film Tax Credit Lotteries

Publication Date


Grant Type

Early Career Research Award


In this project, I propose to study the effects of location-based tax incentives in the motion picture industry on the geography of economic activity and resulting local labor market outcomes in subsidized and competing regions. Exploiting the California Film Commission’s (CFC) motion picture tax credit lotteries that randomly assigned $800 million in credits to approximately 650 of 2000 film applicants from 2009 to 2015 across several distinct allocation rounds, the program design is ideal for econometric evaluation. Rarely are such randomized trials available to study labor market outcomes in the economic development literature.