Amazon Will Move Into New York City After All. Did It Really Need Public Investments? (Op-Ed)

Amazon Will Move Into New York City After All. Did It Really Need Public Investments? (Op-Ed)

Less than a year after Amazon canceled its highly publicized HQ2 in New York City after unions, activists and politicians voiced their objections, the online retailer announced plans to add 1,500 jobs and 335,000 square-feet of office space at its New York presence. Does this signify Amazon never really needed incentives in the first place? Nathan Jensen, professor of government at the University of Texas at Austin, argues that incentives are ineffective policy tools. “They influence only between 2 and 25 percent of all business investments,” he writes, citing academic research. Jensen believes incentives are more of a political tool than an economic one. “Politicians often attend ribbon-cutting ceremonies to take credit for new investments. Politicians want to announce as many jobs as possible because it makes them look good; companies want to lock in as many incentives as possible for as little as they can deliver,” he continues. “Both politicians and companies want to throw out big job numbers.”

 

Washington Post: READ MORE