Ranking State Economic Competitiveness

During the time that I worked with the American Legislative Exchange Council, I had the pleasure of contributing to the production of Rich States, Poor Statesa book that uses a set of metrics to rank states both in economic performance and in economic outlook. The book further studies different trends that happened in the year prior to publication.

One great section in the book examines the differences in U-Haul rental rates when moving between states. Interesting enough, U-Haul rates are higher when moving to a low tax, low regulation, right to work state from a high regulation, high tax state than the other way around. For example, renting a van from Austin to Los Angeles only costs about $689, but going from Los Angeles to Austin costs $1548. Given that the distance is the same, the difference in price (which is over 2 times in this case) must largely be accounted for by a difference in demand. This is because UHaul must pay workers to drive vans back to Los Angeles, or else there would be a van build up in Austin and corresponding van deficit in Los Angeles. Of course, the reason that more people are moving to Austin from LA is a result of many factors, but there seems to be strong evidence that business environment is a key factor.

Check out the report, and specifically look at your state!






One thought on “Ranking State Economic Competitiveness

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