© 2015

Ten-Gallon Economy

Sizing Up Economic Growth in Texas

  • Editors
  • Pia M. Orrenius
  • Jesús Cañas
  • Michael Weiss

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Introduction

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Pia M. Orrenius, Jesús Cañas, Michael Weiss
      Pages 3-11
  3. Public Policy and Business Climate

  4. Human Capital and Labor Markets

  5. Industry and Exports

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 107-107
    2. John V. Duca, Michael Weiss, Elizabeth Organ
      Pages 109-118
    3. Kory Killgo, Kenneth J. Robinson
      Pages 119-137
    4. Mine K. Yücel, Michael Plante, Amy Jordan, Nicole Lake
      Pages 139-158
    5. Jesús Cañas, Luis Bernardo Torres Ruiz, Christina English
      Pages 159-179
  6. Border and Economic Development

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 181-181
    2. Roberto Coronado, Marycruz De León, Eduardo Saucedo
      Pages 183-198
    3. Keith R. Phillips, Christopher Slijk
      Pages 199-212
    4. Jordana Barton, Emily Ryder Perlmeter, Elizabeth Sobel Blum, Raquel R. Márquez
      Pages 213-229

About this book


Texas' economic growth has consistently outpaced that of the United States as a whole over the past quarter century. What accounts for the state's economic success? And does it come at a price to be paid in the future? Ten-Gallon Economyfeatures new research on regional economic growth and some surprising findings on Texas' unique tax and banking institutions, booming energy and export sectors, vibrant labor market, expanding demographics and human capital, and growing border economy. Texas has a dynamic economy, large yet flexible, but it is still subject to the booms and busts of the energy sector, which exercises an outsized influence. Taxes are low but regressive relative to national benchmarks, which fuels growth but can inhibit investment in education and health. Meanwhile, Texas, as one of only five minority-majority states, is poised to reap a big demographic dividend if it invests wisely in the coming generation of mostly Latino workers. Taken together, the chapters in this volume provide unique insight into the economy of the nation's second-largest state, laying out some of the choices facing policymakers charged with safeguarding the Texas growth premium for future generations. 


Texas banking educational challenge wage polarization border development Regional growth small government business climate franchise tax educational attainment comparative advantage exports energy oil and gas sector oil boom oil bust colonias border economy labor market polarization income inequality job growth development Economic Development economic growth Export growth labor market Oil and Gas Regional Growth

About the authors

Pia M. Orrenius is Vice President and Senior Economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, USA, where she leads the regional group that tracks economic growth and development in the Eleventh District. Orrenius has published extensively on the Texas economy, immigration, and labor markets, and is Executive Editor of the Dallas Fed publication Southwest Economy. 

Jesús Cañas is Business Economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, USA. As member of the regional group he analyzes the regional economy. His research at the Fed also focuses on issues pertaining to the Mexican economy, the U.S.-Mexico border economy, and the maquiladora industry. Cañas has written articles for various Federal Reserve Bank publications and academic journals such as Annals of Regional Science and Growth and Change. Cañas holds a BA in Economics and Finance and an MS in Economics from the University of Texas at El Paso, USA.

Michael Weiss is Senior Writer/Editor in the Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, USA, and edits the quarterly, Southwest Economy. He holds an MBA in Finance from the University of Texas at Arlington, USA, an MS in Journalism from Columbia University, USA, and a BA in Public Affairs from The University of Chicago, USA.

Jordana Barton, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, USA 
Roberto Coronado, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, USA 
Marycruz de León, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, USA 
John V. Duca, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, USA 
Christina English, Equal Employment Advisory Council, USA 
Amy Jordan, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, USA 
Kory Killgo, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, USA 
Anil Kumar, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, USA 
Nicole Lake, Blue Cross Blue Shield, USA 
Melissa Lopalo, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, USA 
Raquel R. Márques, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, USA 
David Neumark, University of California, Irvine, USA 
Elizabeth Organ, New York University, USA 
Emily Ryder Perlmeter, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, USA 
Keith R. Phillips, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, USA 
Michael Plante, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, USA 
Kenneth J. Robinson, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, USA 
Eduardo Saucedo, The University of Texas-Pan American, USA 
John Saving, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, USA 
Christopher Slijk, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, USA 
Elizabeth Sobel Blum, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, USA 
Marta Tienda, Princeton University, USA 
Louis Bernardo Torres Ruiz, Texas A&M University, USA 
Alan D. Viard, American Enterprise Institute, USA 
Mine K. Yücil, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, USA

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Consumer Packaged Goods
Finance, Business & Banking


"Ten-Gallon Economy is a timely volume on the important forces shaping the dynamic Texas economy over the past decade and more. The invited articles touch on the myriad drivers of the state's rapid growth (energy, exports, low taxes), but they also focus on the challenges that need addressing if Texas is to remain vibrant. The volume is not a compendium of Texas boosterism but rather of clear-eyed research and recommendations to assure future economic success for all Texans."

- Kathleen Cooper, Director of International Politics and Economics, Tower Center, Southern Methodist University, USA; former Under Secretary for Economic Affairs, US Department of Commerce; Chief Economist, Exxon Mobil Corporation

"Rather than providing simply an overview of Texas' 'oil economy,' Ten-Gallon Economy examines the people and socioeconomic conditions as well as the energy and non-energy components of the state's economy in the past, present, and future. This book is a must-read that will be both informative and enlightening for anyone interested in how we got here and the road forward."

- Steve Murdock, Allyn and Gladys Cline Professor of Sociology, Rice University, USA; former Director of the US Census Bureau

"We have a responsibility to turn our diversity into strength. The effective deployment of human capital has never offered greater promise than it does today. Ten Gallon Economy outlines the choices we face and the rewards we can fully realize only by addressing our growing education needs. We must always evaluate what our real-world options are; change is the one constant. Ten Gallon Economy's research and analysis provides invaluable insight in these challenging times."

- Renu Khator, Chancellor, University of Houston, USA