Massachusetts and California Lead States in Study of 'New Economy'

Massachusetts and California were ranked first and second respectively in a new study by the Progressive Policy Institute (PPI) that rated states on a variety of economic factors in the "new economy."

The study concluded that Massachusetts and California were furthest along the path to the "new economy," which focuses on a state's high-tech resources, concentration of computer-related businesses and skilled employees, and number of top-tier universities.

PPI, a think tank in Washington, D.C., used 17 economic factors to rank the states and broke those factors down into five general categories: knowledge jobs, globalization, economic dynamism and competition, transformation to a digital economy and technological innovation capacity.

The report concluded that the top-ranked economies didn't score well simply because of "the right mix of companies, individuals and institutions...but also because they tend to adapt quickly."

Also, higher-scoring states should "experience faster per-capita income growth than lower-scoring states" as the new economy continues to expand in the next decade.

States that did not fare well in the study included Mississippi and Arkansas, both rooted in the old economy. They lag behind in industrialization, education investments, and research and development projects, the study indicated.

Rounding out the top 10 (from third through 10th place) were: Colorado, Washington, Connecticut, Utah, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Delaware and Arizona.

Montana, Louisiana and West Virginia joined Arkansas and Mississippi near the bottom of the list.

The four-month study was funded by the Democratic Leadership Council. The entire report can be found online at www.neweconomyindex.org/states/.

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