The Recovery in Wisconsin Compared

It’s lagging that of the BEA Great Lakes Region, and of neighbor Minnesota.


Figure 1: GDP in Ch.2012$ for Wisconsin (red), Minnesota (blue), Great Lakes Region (teal), US (black), all in logs, 2019Q4=0. NBER defined recession dates peak-to-trough shaded gray, and Dayton and Walker governorships shaded light orange.  Source: BEA state level GDP release, NBER,  author’s calculations.

Since the pandemic struck, growth in Minnesota growth has outpaced Wisconsin by an additional 1.3 percentage points, although the difference is not statistically significant, using the sample shown above. (I got this result by doing a diffs-in-diffs regression). Interestingly, putting in a dummy for Scott Walker (which encompasses the first year of the sample above), I find the difference is significant at the 15% msl (and the dummy variable coefficient on Scott Walker significant, with a penalty of about 2 percentage points!).

What might be the cause of the difference? Certainly the structure of the economies (although diffs-in-diffs should control for secular trends like population growth, demographics). Possibly the sensitivity of output to the shocks differs. Or, the fact the full vaccination rate for Wisconsin is 64% vs Minnesota’s 67%. (All conjecture, but there is some basis for thinking this is important, see this post.)



32 thoughts on “The Recovery in Wisconsin Compared

  1. pgl

    “It’s lagging that of the BEA Great Lakes Region, and of neighbor Minnesota.”

    And Bruce Hall tried to tell us that GDP in the Great Lakes Region fall? Bruce has a perfect record – he gets every single thing wrong.

    1. Bruce Hall

      pgl, you should go back and actually read the comments.

      The point I made is that the GL region was lagging many other areas and that Wisconsin’s performance in output was not that much different than Illinois’… and that, contrary to blaming it on lack of government spending, Wisconsin’s government spending remained the same while Illinois’ declined.

      You have a perfect record for snark and inaccuracy.

      1. Menzie Chinn Post author

        Bruce Hall: Well, the change in the WI GDP growth is slower (1.2 ppts) than Great Lakes region significant at the 15% msl, pandemic onward. It’s statistically significant at 5% msl if a Walker dummy variable is included.

      2. pgl

        Oh dear – I did not get the rocket science precision you gave us with “lagging”. BTW – your little “study” about how the lock downs have not reduced the severity of this virus has been exposed to be the fraud you often try to pull.

  2. ltr

    I just realized what attributing everything to noise means, which is dismissing any suspected relationship. Such a dismissal of possible relationships means in effect never coming to know anything. Social relationships are always going to be noisy, but I prefer to try to provisionally understand them anyway.

  3. ltr

    February 5, 2022

    Cauldron lighting at Beijing Winter Olympics reflects Chinese philosophy of ‘seeing the world through tiny details:’ director Zhang Yimou

    One of the many highlights of Friday evening’s Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games opening ceremony is the part when the Olympic flame was lit – a session that signifies the official opening of the grand sports event, and the one where every host strives to make the best and most unique of.

    Beijing’s Olympic flame lighting session, directed by renowned Chinese director Zhang Yimou, however, was quite different from what people have expected: instead of “lighting up the fire,” there was no ignition; and instead of the “burning fires,” there was only “micro-fire.” It conveyed the concept of low-carbon, environmental-friendly ideas, the director said, which reflected the Chinese philosophy of “knowing autumn comes by one leaf.”

    “I believe that the most important part is the lighting of the Olympic flame of the main torch, which is also highly anticipated and is where directors all over the world are competing in showing their creation,” Zhang told China Central Television in an exclusive interview.

    “So we want to stress, in the session, the concept of new-era and the theme of ‘Together for a Share Future,'” Zhang said, noting that such an idea conceived the large snowflake consisting of all 90 small flakes with the participating country names written on top.

    Looking back at the history of previous Olympic Games, the main torches of all the host countries were designed with their cultural elements, and not a single one with all the names of participating countries placed on it. “This is a torch shared by all, so light and romantic, and has never been thought of before,” Zhang noted….

  4. ltr

    February 4, 2022

    Chinese mainland reports 29 new COVID-19 cases

    The Chinese mainland recorded 29 confirmed COVID-19 cases on Thursday, with 12 linked to local transmissions and 17 from overseas, data from the National Health Commission showed on Friday.

    A total of 52 new asymptomatic cases were also recorded, and 869 asymptomatic patients remain under medical observation.

    Confirmed cases on the Chinese mainland now total 106,270, with the death toll remaining unchanged at 4,636 since January last year.

    Chinese mainland new locally transmitted cases

    Chinese mainland new imported cases

    Chinese mainland new asymptomatic cases

      1. macroduck

        Wonder what deaths per million look like for Uighur ethnicity. Is Uighur ethnicity a greater risk to life than Covid in China?

  5. Econned

    I’m surprised that Menzie hasn’t blamed the state’s lackluster performance relative to its neighbors on Scott Walker.

    1. pgl

      This little snipe takes me back to 1984 and Reagan’s Morning in America commercial which tried to blame the 1982 recession on Jimmy Carter.

        1. pgl

          I bet you thought that was a brilliant commercial even if it incredibly distorted recent economic history. Or do you not have a clue why the economy went through that 1982 recession?

          1. Econned

            You seem to be regularly clueless to the most basic online dialogue. And this is a great example. Tragic clown, indeed.

          2. pgl

            February 5, 2022 at 3:36 pm

            LOL! First you reply ‘bingo’ and then you claim I was not following whatever you were babbling. I should have figured this was just more of your worthless trolling. It is all you ever do.

        1. Moses Herzog

          You think $10 billion that will largely go unutilized helps productivity?? And if it was something that actually contributed to society how much do you think $10 billion would work out to with the money multiplier effect for the state of Wisconsin?? You’re making “cutesy” comments, without feeling you need to have any background knowledge on what was happening under Scott Walker.

          Did you likewise do an “eye-roll” when it was noted that Republican Sarah Palin (and good friend of the orange abomination Mar-a-Lardo) supported a bridge that would have cost the national government $223 million and done nearly nothing for the general Alaskan economy??

          It appears that when wasteful government spending is done by Republicans and MAGA illiterates, you seem to think “it doesn’t count when Republicans waste federal tax funds”. How odd. Here is the part where you do an eye-roll, because you think it’s “Making America Great Again” to waste tax dollars.

          1. Econned

            Geez you’re hilariously clueless. The eye roll was because you linked to an article NOT by Menzie Chinn as a reply to my joke about Menzie’s obsession with Walker.

            Moreover, I’ve NEVER once suggested anything remotely suggesting “it doesn’t count when Republicans waste federal tax funds”. Nor have I EVER suggested anything remotely close to asserting “it’s “Making America Great Again” to waste tax dollars”. You’re yet another regular internet commenter who can’t separate your emotions from your comments. You can’t fathom a world where people who have some differing opinions can also share similar opinions. Instead, you make completely unfounded assumptions about those you don’t like. You’re one example of the many issues involved with online dialogue. At least you’re occasionally entertaining.

      1. pgl

        Taiwan electronics manufacturer Foxconn is drastically scaling back a planned $10 billion factory in Wisconsin, confirming its retreat from a project that former U.S. President Donald Trump once called “the eighth wonder of the world.”

        More like the 8th blunder of the Trump Administration. But this was followed by so many more.

          1. Econned

            PaGLiacci again conceding as Econbrowser’s #1 worthless commenter. The tragic clown strikes again.

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