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Business / Finance / Markets / Money

Kansas GDP and Employment under Brownback: A Retrospective

Kansas GDP and Employment under Brownback: A Retrospective

Now that Brownback is an ex-governor, and the tax plan he touted as a “shot of adrenaline” is largely reversed, it’s a good time to see what damage was wrought.


Figure 1: Log real GDP for Missouri (blue), Kansas (red), normalized to 2011Q1=0. Source: BEA and author’s calculations.

Kansas GDP growth was negative q/q from 2015Q3-2016Q1. Hence, Kansas was in recession using the conventional rule of thumb over this period. The timing of the start of the recession is in line with results obtained using the Philly Fed coincident indices and the Hamilton Markov switching approach, as discussed in this post.

The rebound is more pronounced in the employment data which extends through December.


Figure 2: Log nonfarm payroll employment for Missouri (blue), Kansas (red), normalized to 2011M01=0. Source: BLS and author’s calculations.

As of December 2017, Kansas nonfarm payroll employment has just barely exceeded the prior 2016M09 peak, by less than 0.1 percentage points. (Civilian employment exceeded the prior April 2017 peak in October, but has since declined below that value.)

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