Lou Glazer of Michigan Future remains committed to his trope in Dome Magazine, arguing that Michigan needs to focus more on higher education. But making Michigan a mecca for talent will have little effect on the state economy if the evidence from the rest of the country is any indication.
Despite all the claims of “talent” being the fundamental driver of economic growth, there is simply no connection between a state adding college graduates and growing its economy. The charts below shows that growing a state’s proportion of college graduates (Glazer’s key economic driver) had no connection with growing the state’s per capita personal income (Glazer’s key measure of economic well-being).
The state needs more than college grads to thrive and there’s more to economic growth than government policy changes. But the state can adopt policies that improve the economy and should consider these.