Texas, Our Texas: An Assessment of Economic Development Programs and Prospects in the Lone Star State

In 2002, as Texas faced lackluster economic performance and a lack of job growth, The Perryman Group completed a comprehensive study of issues related to economic development in the state at the request of the Texas Department of Economic Development. The analysis was provided on a pro bono basis at the request of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Speaker of the House.  The study served as partial basis for the state’s successful economic development programs which have been instrumental in improving and diversifying the Texas economy.

In a remarkable odyssey of almost two centuries, a rugged and remote frontier outpost named for one of its many native tribes has been transformed into a major center of high technology and international commerce. From cattle to cotton to oil to electronics, Texas has repeatedly reoriented its business complex to meet evolving needs and circumstances. Even given the Lone Star State’s remarkable capacity to adjust, the current period is one of unprecedented challenges (and opportunities).

Recent weakness, coming on the heels of a decade of remarkable progress, has led to increased dialog and efforts to proactively promote business expansion. During the 2001 legislative session, Texas lawmakers enacted House Bill 931 which provided for Texas Economic Development (TxED), the State’s tourism and business development agency, to prepare an economic development plan. At the request of TxED, The Perryman Group (TPG), agreed to prepare this analysis on a pro bono basis.

The study includes analysis of a broad range of issues; in many cases the discussion includes quantification of specific costs or benefits. In this summary, recommendations are followed by brief highlights of some of the major findings from this endeavor. The full report contains extensive detail on a wealth of topics which impact the future of Texas, and can be downloaded below.