Economist Cites Missouri Economy’s Underachievement

An economist with the Show-Me Institute, a free-market think tank, gives Missouri low marks for economic development. Missouri ranked 28th in per capita gross domestic product in 2000, but had fallen to 36th place by 2012. Over those dozen years, the state’s production of goods and services grew at an annual rate of just 0.06 percent, or about $23 per person per year, Rik Hafer points out in a new essay. The professor of economics at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville says he wrote the piece in hopes of shaking Missourians out of their complacency about our lack of economic vitality. In terms of job growth, Missouri trailed most of its neighbors in the years leading up to the Great Recession, and it has continued to lag behind since. Such sluggish performance “will not put Missouri on anybody’s list of preferred places to live or start a business.”

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