"Panel Evidence on Economic Freedom and Growth in the United States"
By Ryan A. Compton (U. of Mannitoba), Daniel C. Giedeman (Grand Valley State U.), and Gary A. Hoover (U. of Alabama). Abstract:
Using the measures of economic freedom developed by Karabegovic et al. (2003), we are able to create a dataset spanning the period 1981 to 2004 in order to investigate the nature of the relationship between economic freedom and economic growth for the fifty US states. We find that the level of economic freedom is only weakly related to growth but the change in economic freedom is strongly and positively correlated with growth. In addition, we find that several subcomponents of economic freedom, such as takings and discriminatory taxation are strongly related to growth using changes but not when levels of freedom are considered.
Related: James Hamilton, "The Geography of Success".
Interestingly, two states-- Texas and North Dakota-- account for more than 100% of the increase in U.S. production since 2009. While some other states, such as Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Colorado saw modest gains, declines in production from the Gulf of Mexico, Alaska and California were bigger than the combined gains from the states outside of Texas and North Dakota. . . .
It's also interesting, and in my opinion not entirely a coincidence, that it is the region in a central swath through the middle of the United States that has been most successful in terms of connecting workers with jobs.