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Factors Behind The Convergence Of Economic Performance Across U.S. States

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Executive Summary

The rolling recessions of the 1970s and 1980s were characterized by industry and region specific shocks that led to large dispersions in the economic performance of regions across the U.S. The 1970s were primarily impacted by sharply rising energy prices that hit the manufacturing states hard while stimulating growth in the energy states. The 1980s began with declines in the Farm Belt, followed by declines in the Energy Belt, the Rust (manufacturing) Belt, and finally, due to declines in defense spending, a decline in the Gun Belt.

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