The Economist

Dr. M. Ray Perryman is President and Chief Executive Officer of The Perryman Group He also serves as Institute Distinguished Professor of Economic Theory and Method at the International Institute for Advanced Studies.

Texas tech

As the oil surge came to an end with the decline in crude prices late last year and earlier this year, the fallout for the Texas economy naturally became a source of concern. Clearly, drilling and exploration activity had been a major source of new jobs, both in oil-producing regions (such as the Permian Basin and South Texas) and in metropolitan areas with a large industry presence (including Houston). Spillover benefits boosted the economies of every corner of the state, and with retrenching in the industry, a slowdown in the state’s growth was no surprise.

Big Business

While small businesses are very important job generators, more than half of Americans are working in large enterprises. The tendency toward large or small size firms varies markedly by industry as well as geography. Average pay per employee is also affected by size. The essential requirements for the success of any business are largely the same (quality workforce and infrastructure, predictable regulatory environment, manageable cost, and tax structure). However, there are differences, which can inform the policy and economic development process.