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Economic freedom and employment growth in U.S. states

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  • Thomas A. Garrett
  • Russell M. Rhine

Abstract

We extend earlier models of economic growth and development by exploring the effect of economic freedom on U.S. state employment growth. We find that states with greater economic freedom - defined as the protection of private property and private markets operating with minimal government interference - experienced greater rates of employment growth. In addition, we find that less restrictive state and national government labor market policies have the greatest impact on employment growth in U.S. states. Except for labor market policies, we find that state employment growth is influenced by state and local government policies, but not the policies of all levels of government, including the national government. Our results suggest that policy-makers concerned with employment should seriously consider the degree to which their own labor market policies, as well as those of the national government, may be limiting economic growth and development in their respective states.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas A. Garrett & Russell M. Rhine, 2010. "Economic freedom and employment growth in U.S. states," Working Papers 2010-006, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2010-006
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Bjørnskov, Christian, 2015. "Does economic freedom really kill? On the association between ‘Neoliberal’ policies and homicide rates," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 207-219.
    2. Bologna, Jamie & Young, Andrew T. & Lacombe, Donald J., 2016. "A spatial analysis of incomes and institutional quality: evidence from US metropolitan areas," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(01), pages 191-216, March.
    3. R. Hafer & Garett Jones, 2015. "Are entrepreneurship and cognitive skills related? Some international evidence," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 44(2), pages 283-298, February.
    4. Anderson, John E., 2012. "State Tax Rankings: What Do They and Don’t They Tell Us?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 65(4), pages 985-1010, December.
    5. Noel D., Johnson & William, Ruger & Jason, Sorens & Steven, Yamarik, 2012. "Corruption as a response to regulation," MPRA Paper 36873, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Jed Kolko & David Neumark & Marisol Cuellar Mejia, 2013. "What Do Business Climate Indexes Teach Us About State Policy And Economic Growth?," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(2), pages 220-255, May.
    7. Compton, Ryan A. & Giedeman, Daniel C. & Hoover, Gary A., 2014. "A distributional analysis of the benefits of economic freedom," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 121-133.
    8. Yankow, Jeffrey J., 2014. "A Longitudinal Analysis of the Impact of State Economic Freedom on Individual Wages," Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy, Mid-Continent Regional Science Association, vol. 44(1).
    9. repec:bla:coecpo:v:35:y:2017:i:2:p:358-372 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Lauren R. Heller & E. Frank Stephenson, 2014. "Economic Freedom And Labor Market Conditions: Evidence From The States," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 32(1), pages 56-66, January.
    11. Daniel L. Bennet, 2016. "Subnational Economic Freedom and Performance in the United States and Canada," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 36(1), pages 165-185, Winter.
    12. Farhadi, Minoo & Islam, Md. Rabiul & Moslehi, Solmaz, 2015. "Economic Freedom and Productivity Growth in Resource-rich Economies," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 109-126.

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    Keywords

    Employment ; Economic development;

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