Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Shane Nordyke

Second Advisor

Michael Card

Third Advisor

Mandie Weinandt


Tax Credits, Opportunity Zones, Community Development, Midwest

Subject Categories

Policy Design, Analysis, and Evaluation


Opportunity Zones were implemented within the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 to bring jobs and investment to low-income communities. States were given authority to choose which of their census tracts would be given Opportunity Zone status, and previous research has been conducted to investigate if selected tracts were the ones with the most distress. This study expands upon past national research to investigate state-level Opportunity Zone tract selections and processes by using a sample of seven Midwest states. The results provide an explanation for national studies seeing variance in levels of Opportunity Zone distress by state, and it found that states had differing selection processes, goals in tract selection, and levels of initial distress



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