Where does Missouri stack up nationally?

Donald Phares, professor emeritus of economics at UMSL, wrote the research report "Missouri’s Economic and Governmental Status Across States and Over Time: A Comparison Guide."

A new report released last week by the Public Policy Research Center at the University of Missouri–St. Louis examines how Missouri economically and governmentally stacks up on a national level. Prepared by Donald Phares, professor emeritus of economics at UMSL, the report ranks Missouri on 58 factors, such as state taxes and spending, public infrastructure and government revenue.

In addition, “Missouri’s Economic and Governmental Status Across States and Over Time: A Comparison Guide,” shows how Missouri’s standing has changed over time. For example, the report shows Missouri was the 13th most populous state at its peak between 1970 and 2008. The state has since fallen to 18th, the lowest it’s ranked during that time.

“The intent of this report is to uncover areas of interest or concern for further, more in depth, analysis,” Phares wrote in his report. “While it does not reflect all of the possible economic and governmental dimensions for Missouri, its breadth and scope is enough to suggest areas in which more detailed effort might be of interest and worthwhile.”

The report features a detailed overview that uses a number of economic and governmental indicators to uncover issues that merit deeper attention. Phares points out in his report that the purpose is to attempt to provide a summary of Missouri’s status.

“It is not intended to be an in depth analysis of each factor and the numerous nuances that they would manifest,” he wrote. “Rather, it is intended to uncover issues or areas where much more detailed scrutiny might be apropos, that is, to delve beneath the surface level uncovered here and to look with more in depth scrutiny below the surface into a particular factor.”

Phares wrote the books “Who Pays State and Local Taxes?” and “State-Local Tax Equity: An Empirical Analysis of the Fifty States.” He has also written more than 80 articles and book chapters and scores of technical and government reports.

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