Recovering from a Recession

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Flash forward a decade and the US cycle starting in 2001 was 4 years; conversely, and ominously for the state, Massachusetts never returned to its February 2001 employment peak, as seen in Figure 1 B. It came close in March 2008, but again began losing jobs due to the latest recession. Nevertheless, if for the purposes of comparison we allow coming close to stand in for a return to peak employment, Massachusetts had a 7-year cycle sinking into and then coming out of the 2001 recession.

The Big Shrink: Declining Establishment Size in Massachusetts

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The Big Shrink adds to our understanding by examining the shrinking size of Massachusetts' firms and the causes of this economy-wide phenomenon in order to determine whether the trend has systemic impacts on our economy and, therefore, one hopes, on policy formation. The paper finds that reduction in firm size is widespread, holding true for all industries and most establishment types.

Massachusetts’ New Economy

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"Massachusetts’ New Economy" was presented by Jim Stergios in 2011.
the Boston skyline overlaid with money.

Creating Jobs: Reforming Unemployment Insurance in Massachusetts

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As states and nations aggressively promote their business climates, the high cost of doing business in Massachusetts requires ongoing remediation for the Commonwealth to sustain its competitive advantage.

Keeping Massachusetts Competitive

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Massachusetts is a state with many economic and competitive strengths, but policymakers, elected officials, and business leaders must not ignore its weaknesses. Massachusetts offers compelling advantages to companies looking to expand businesses or start new ones, but other states are chipping away at the state's advantages in this area.

Playing the Lottery: The Impact of Interstate Relocation on Massachusetts Jobs

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The study's first major finding is that Massachusetts is losing the relocation game: many more establishments have moved out of state than have entered, and the trend has worsened since 2000. At the net level, Massachusetts has lost 2,152 establishments and 24,088 jobs during this time period.

Municipal Benchmarks for Massachusetts Middle Cities: A Look at Economic Growth

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This paper will explore the use of municipal benchmarks in Massachusetts, with particular reference to the 14 identified Middle Cities. Importantly, as with the original surveyor’s marks, the development and application of municipal benchmarks will require us to become comfortable thinking in relative terms—not always a simple task in a world where statistics often fly about faster than the speed of thought and the attractions of “absolute” comparisons (and judgements) tend to be hard to resist.

Heading Down: The Loss of Massachusetts Headquarters

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This brief seeks to analyze the impact of changes in the composition of workplaces in Massachusetts to determine the specific impacts the changes in the raw number and percentage share of headquarters have had on job creation and loss.

Failure to Thrive: Job Creation and Loss in Massachusetts: 1990 – 2007

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This brief examines how jobs have been created and lost in Massachusetts in the eighteen- year period (1990-2007) leading up to the current recession.

New Business Creation and The Urban Economy

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Policymakers have long grappled with the challenge of revitalizing cities whose economies have declined as manufacturing jobs moved elsewhere. Older industrial cities’ economic woes have compounded other problems, including municipal budget crises, struggling schools, high crime rates, and persistent poverty.

Unemployment Insurance in Massachusetts

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High unemployment insurance taxes deter job creation and burden Massachusetts businesses. The current system also subsidizes certain workers and business sectors, at the expense of most Massachusetts workers and companies.

Fixing Maintenance in Massachusetts

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The horrifying spectacle of the Minnesota bridge collapse has prompted a national reevaluation of the condition of our public infrastructure. In Massachusetts, two recent reports have found a multi-billion dollar backlog of deferred maintenance.

Rehabbing Urban Redevelopment

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This report surveys 14 Massachusetts cities outside the immediate Boston metropolitan market, which other studies have identified as “weak market” or “gateway” cities. While useful designations, this report employs the term “Middle Cities.”

Measuring Up? The Cost of Doing Business in Massachusetts

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The conventional wisdom among most regional economists, business leaders, and even policy experts is that Massachusetts is a high cost state for businesses. The purpose of this paper is to take a granular look at the issue by considering the specific components of business costs and how they vary across nine key industries in Massachusetts and six neighboring and competitor states.

Economic Opportunity in Boston: An Index of the Regulatory Climate for Small Entrepreneurs

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Economic Opportunity in Boston: An Index of Economic Opportunity for Small Entrepreneurs provides a first look at the costs of regulatory mandates on small business in Boston. In the absence of other serviceable attempts to assess the consequences of regulatory barriers on small businesses, it seeks to establish a framework for measuring the cost of regulation and for weighing these costs against the benefits they may provide.

Public Profits from Private contracts: A Case Study in Human Services

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Robert Melia, author of Pioneer's White Paper entitled Public Profits From Private Contracts and former vice president of Policy Studies, Inc, used child support enforcement as a case study to compare private versus public delivery of human services. Melia argued that competitive contracting is often a more effective way of delivering services not because public employees are inefficient or private companies pay less, but because bureaucratic checks and balances are inherent in government.

If We Build It Will They Come? And Other Questions About the Proposed Boston Convention Center

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In 1965 Boston's War Memorial Auditorium (later Hynes Convention Center) opened to great fanfare and anticipation. But, by the mid-1970s, Boston officials were already proclaiming Hynes too small for growing conventions and promising that an expanded convention center would draw far more meetings and visitors to the city.