The underlying premise of traditional economic development strategies is that subsidies incentivize firms to take actions that they wouldn’t have otherwise taken. For example, the incentive can initiate hiring new employees, locating a business in a particular area, or expanding production. However, research suggests that these incentives are often not as effective as they may seem and we may hope. Alternatively, incentives that are not effective are wasted resources that could have been used to support other public programs. In this session, speakers will examine what makes incentives more or less likely to be effective, how to increase the odds that incentives will work, and which alternatives to traditional incentive-led approaches can better accomplish economic development goals.