The False Economist

Friday, January 14, 2011

US States' GDP Equivalents

Found this cool chart on the Economist's website showing which countries are the GDP equivalents of which US states, i.e. Maine's GDP is $51.29bn and its equivalent country is Luxembourg.

Some interesting ones are Nevada, Illinois and Idaho. Remeber these are not per capita so Oregon having the same GDP as Pakistan is rather impressive when you consider the differences in population.

Its an interesting exercise, more in terms of highlighting the differences facing the nations and their US GDP equivalents rather than what they have in common. For example, a California default would be problematic but manageable for the US Fed, however a default by Italy (perhaps only slightly less likely!!!) would probably lead to a meltdown in the Eurozone and a huge crisis in the sovereign debt markets. 


  1. Awesome infographic - can you elaborate in your next post about why the US can support California but the EU couldn't support Italy?

  2. Hey Conor, to put it simply the US is a federal state while countries within the EU have much more autonomy and EU-level institutions have much less power than their US equivalent.

    The EU can financially support member states but it would be based on strict conditionality and probably not to the same extent that the US Fed could support California.

    A bailout for Italy from the ECB or European Commission would contravene the Stability and Growth Pact and EU law. Even if it was labelled a "loan" as opposed to a bailout (as was done with Greece and Ireland), this would require huge increases in the capital available to EU institutions and would be met with great resistance from the main financial backers of the EU, Germany.

    This is why there has been so many problems with establishing a permanent loan mechanism for EU Member States in financial trouble.