Wednesday I'll be speaking at noon in Raleigh, NC, as part of North Carolina Policy Watch's "Crucial Conversations" series. This talk will focus on my book, Investment Incentives and the Global Competition for Capital, and emphasizing policies needed to control subsidies for investment. I would say that there are three main ones:
Transparency: Taxpayers have to be able to see what governments are spending to attract investment. North Carolina right now is suffering from a problem with a proposed investment seeking incentives, but there is no disclosure of the company or the nature of the project.
Anti-piracy rules: States need to prevent cities, and the federal government needs to prevent states, from giving subsidies to move an existing facility from elsewhere. See earlier posts on "job piracy."
Restrictions on incentives by prosperous areas: Keeping deep pockets jurisdictions entirely out of the bidding for investment helps channel new investment to poorer areas and reduces what poorer areas have to pay. Very ambitious, but I think it is an important long-run goal.
I'll be back to regular posting by Thursday.