Contrary to claims by Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the Lone Star State isn't stealing California's jobs, workers or prosperity, according to a UCLA study.
The study, part of UCLA's quarterly forecast Wednesday, tries to put the kibosh on a rivalry between the states. Perry, for instance, has boasted about "hunting trips" to California to recruit companies from the state.
Texas is one of many Western states trying to capitalize on the perception that California is a difficult place for business.
California appears to be in worse shape than Texas. Its unemployment rate, at 12.4%, is much higher than Texas' 8%. California's population grew 10% in the last decade, the slowest rate in the state's history, as Texas' grew nearly 20%, according to recent census data.
"Texas, the state with the most rapid population growth over the last decade, is held up as the model for job diversion from the Golden State," said Jerry Nickelsburg, a senior economist for the UCLA Anderson Forecast.
Businesses contend that California has high taxes, stringent environmental regulations and difficult permitting systems, a business environment that drives start-ups to Texas.
But some of those accusations aren't accurate, Nickelsburg said.
California, for instance, takes about 4.7% of what a business produces in taxes — which happens to be the national average. Texas takes more, 4.9%, according to a study last fall by the Council on State Taxation, a business-friendly trade group.
As for bureaucracy driving businesses out of the state, Nickelsburg said it appears that some businesses are more naturally suited to California and are growing, while others are more naturally suited to Texas. Legislators should focus on making it easier for California-centric businesses to grow in the state, he said.