The Michigan Business Development Program, like its predecessor program, the Michigan Economic Growth Authority, is ineffective at creating jobs. We find that there is actually a negative jobs impact resulting from the MBDP.
It is best to dismantle this program now, lest it continue to waste public dollars. The state would have likely been in a better position fiscally had it eliminated the ineffective Michigan Economic Growth Authority or film subsidy programs when analyses of them showed them having no positive impact on the state’s economy. It is particularly important given the birth of two new subsidy programs adopted by lawmakers in 2017 and known as “MI-Thrive” and “Good Jobs for Michigan.” These programs are designed to benefit large corporations and developers but suffer from the same shortcomings as other failed state economic development programs in and outside of the Great Lake State.
The $300 million-plus approved for distribution to select businesses through September 2016 would be better spent elsewhere. About 33 percent of the deals approved by the MSF between March of 2012 and through Sept. 29, 2016, have been or are in some stage of default or dismissal. The statistical approach developed for this study suggests that the program’s performance is even worse. Policymakers should reconsider it entirely.