NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

State Economic Performance and Outlook

May 1, 2014

Texas outdid the rest of the states in terms of economic performance between 2002 and 2012, according to a new report from economists Arthur B. Laffer and Stephen Moore, and Jonathan Williams, director of the Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force at the American Legislative Exchange Council.

Using 15 different policy variables -- including personal and corporate income tax rates, tax progressivity, the existence of an inheritance tax, percent of public employees, and a survey of the state's liability system -- the authors analyzed the economic outlook of the 50 states for 2014.

  • Utah, South Dakota, Indiana, North Dakota, Idaho, North Carolina, Arizona, Nevada, Georgia and Wyoming took the top 10 spots on the list. Utah has ranked number 1 for economic outlook every year since 2008.
  • New York found itself in last place in terms of economic outlook, and it has sat in the 49th or 50th spot every year since 2008. Just behind New York were Vermont, Illinois, California, Minnesota and New Jersey.

The report also looked at the states' economic performance over a decade (2002-2012) using three variables: state gross domestic product, absolute domestic migration and non-farm payroll employment.

  • Texas ranked at the top of the list, followed by Utah, Wyoming, North Dakota, Montana, Washington, Nevada, Arizona, Oklahoma and Idaho.
  • At the bottom of the list was Michigan, followed by Ohio, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Illinois, Connecticut and Wisconsin.

Source: Arthur B. Laffer, Stephen Moore and Jonathan Williams, "Rich States, Poor States," American Legislative Exchange Council, 2014.


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