Dean Stansel

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Center for Economics and the Environment: Policy Series


Government restrictions on workers and employers tend to have a dampening effect on their ability to thrive. There have been numerous studies of the relationship between state labor market restrictions and labor market outcomes (as well as economic outcomes in general). As theory would imply, that literature generally has found a positive relationship between labor market freedom and various measures of positive economic outcomes. After a discussion of the concept of economic freedom and how it is measured in labor markets, this paper briefly reviews that literature. It also provides a detailed examination of how Missouri compares to its neighboring states and the U.S. average on a variety of measures of both labor market freedom and economic prosperity. Many other states are doing better than Missouri in both areas. A prescription for policy reforms that will move to correcting that disparity is provided.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.