Broad Industry Sector Trends in Massachusetts, 1998-2018: A MassEconomix Report

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Service-based industries have significantly outperformed manufacturing and other traditional blue-collar economic sectors in Massachusetts since 2008, according to a new report from Pioneer Institute that draws on data from the MassEconomix web tool.

The Long View: A Public Policy Roadmap for Saving Small Businesses During the COVID-19 Recovery Period

As the initial economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed, a new study from Pioneer Institute finds that governments must continue to provide short-term relief to stabilize small businesses as they simultaneously consider longer-term reforms to hasten and bolster recovery – all while facing a need to shore up public sector revenues.

As the COVID-19 Pandemic Spurs Consumer Shift to E-Commerce, the Massachusetts Sales Tax Collection System Deserves Renewed Scrutiny

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At a time when state tax revenues are plummeting, a plan to modernize sales tax collection could get money into state coffers more quickly. This report analyzes the merits of a two-part proposal Governor Baker included in his January state budget submission to streamline state sales tax collections. Sullivan and Mikula find that the first part of Baker’s plan makes sense and is entirely feasible because advances in electronic data processing and electronic funds transfer have eliminated the need for protracted remittance timetables.

A Look at the Massachusetts Industries that are Most Vulnerable Due to COVID-19

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A new report using recent data provided by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development shows that hospitality, retail trade, healthcare and social assistance, and construction are the industries that have suffered the most unemployment as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

Greater Boston as a Global Competitor

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This report finds that in order for Boston to become even more attractive to international companies and investors, Boston-area leaders must work to improve housing and healthcare affordability, transportation infrastructure, economic development policies, and education. Pioneer synthesized dozens of economic, lifestyle, and governance indicators into five categories of importance to Boston’s profile in the international competition for talent and investment.

Eight more responses to Professor Young—nine really

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Pioneer's Greg Sullivan offers a rebuttal to Professor Cristobal Young's criticism of his recent report, "Eight Reasons to Question Professor Cristobal Young's Conclusions about Millionaire's".

Eight Reasons to Question Professor Cristobal Young's Conclusions about Millionaire's

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The work of a Stanford University Professor whose research has formed the foundation of efforts, such as one scheduled to appear on the Massachusetts ballot in November, to impose surtaxes on high earners is flawed because it excludes the vast majority of millionaires, according to a new study published by Pioneer Institute.

Housing & Who’s a ‘Millionaire’ according to Proposition 80

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The tax hike on those with annual taxable incomes of $1 million or more that would result from a proposed amendment to the state constitution scheduled to appear on the Commonwealth’s November ballot would likely ensnare an ever-increasing number of taxpayers because the index used to adjust the million-dollar threshold has historically grown at a far slower rate than the taxable income of Massachusetts taxpayers and increases in state home values.

The Federal Tax Reform Act’s cap on deductions of state income taxes has turned Proposition 80 into an economic time bomb for Massachusetts

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This report finds that recent passage of the federal tax overhaul legislation will exacerbate the negative economic impact of Proposition 80, the proposed constitutional amendment scheduled to appear on Massachusetts’ November ballot that would add a 4 percent surtax on annual taxable income over $1 million.

Back to Taxachusetts? Lessons from Connecticut

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This report urges proponents of a 2018 statewide ballot initiative that would add a surcharge on the state taxes of those earning over $1 million annually to look at the experience of Connecticut, where multiple rounds of tax hikes aimed at high earners triggered an exodus of large employers and high-earning individuals that resulted in declining tax revenue.

Economic Freedom of North America 2017

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Economic Freedom of North America 2017 is the thirteenth edition of the Fraser Institute’s annual report. This year it measures the extent to which the policies of individual provinces and states were, in 2015, supportive of economic freedom, the ability of individuals to act in the economic sphere free of undue restrictions.

Back to Taxachusetts Series: Capital Gains

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This report shows that if Massachusetts voters approve Proposition 80, scheduled to appear on the statewide ballot next year, Massachusetts’ top capital gains tax rate would go from 30th highest in the nation to fourth and the commonwealth’s highest combined state and federal rate would move from 25th to second.

A Road to Financing

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This manual was prepared as part of the Urban Business Alliance (UBA)- a unique initiative of Pioneer’s Center for Urban Entrepreneurship that helps low- and moderate-income entrepreneurs by bolstering the skills of the community-based business advisors they look to for assistance.

Rebuilding the Ladder to Self- Sufficiency: Workfare and Welfare Reform

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The full implementation of welfare reform in Massachusetts required a waiver from the federal government. The commonwealth requested such a waiver to allow for the work requirement, time limits, job training, and the centralization of its public assistance system. The waiver was granted for all except time limits.

A Challenge to Economic Freedom: Declining Labor Participation

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The fact is that the unemployment rate doesn't tell the whole story. Strictly defined as the percentage of the population who are out of work and actively seeking employment, this metric provides a very narrow lens through which to evaluate labor market performance. A look at labor participation rates — the labor force as a percentage of the civilian non-institutional population — helps paint a more accurate picture.

Regaining Massachusetts’ Edge in Research and Development

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Massachusetts’ ranking among the states in overall R&D spending by industry rose from fifth to second between 1991 and 2006, but although it’s ranking improved, Massachusetts – and every other state – lost market share over that period to California, which had enacted much stronger tax incentives. In fact, the commonwealth’s market share of national R&D spending by industry actually declined between 1991 and 2011. Over that same period California increased its industrial R&D spending by more than its top seven competitor states combined, including Massachusetts.

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.

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.

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.