Is the recent economic growth of Texas driven mainly by fracking?

Scott Sumner reports:

So the Texas oil boom was quite recent, beginning about 2010.  Now let’s look at the population growth figures before and after the recent boom:

2005-06:  2.55%

2006-07:  2.01%

2007-08:  2.02%

2008-09:  2.02%

2009-10:  1.85%

2010-11:  1.62%

2011-12:  1.52%

2012-13:  1.50%

Where is all the population growth from fracking?

And this:

Texas’s population grew at roughly twice the national rate for decade after decade, even as oil output was declining sharply.

The post makes several other points of interest.  I would stress that Texas has developed at least five highly successful urban clusters, namely Houston, Dallas-Forth Worth, San Antonio, Austin, and to some extent El Paso or I would say El Paso-Juarez.  For standard reasons of economic geography, such clusters are especially like in a larger state.  Furthermore such clusters can be driven, in part, by relatively small differences in underlying state policy.  Maybe Texas policy is only a little bit better than in some other states, but that small underlying difference can translate into a big change in final outcomes.  Fracking is likely a complementary force here, but it is not the center of the story.


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