The X-Factor? Social capital and economic well-being: A quantitative analysis
Minnesota and its neighbors: What makes us the same and why does it matter?
Center of the American Experiment has produced regular reports on Minnesota’s economy since 2016 and these have often included a chart showing the employment ratio (the share of the civilian non- institutional population actually employed) in all 50 states and the District of Columbia in a given year. What they show doesn’t change much from one year to the next: Minnesota is usually one of the top ranked states, its employment ratio coming in fourth highest in 2019, as Figure 1 shows. But, equally consistently, Minnesota’s neighbors — highlighted in yellow — also rank comparatively high. For their employment ratios in 2019, Wisconsin ranked 13th, South Dakota 6th, and Iowa and North Dakota 2nd and first, respectively.
These similar labor market outcomes occur even though the governments of these states pursue very different economic policies. Minnesota has some of the highest rates of…