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Marvin Taylor’s current research is a historical analysis of economic development in Minnesota from the end of WWI to the 1950s.

From the bottom third to the top ten: U of M expert examines the history of Minnesota's economic growth

May 26, 2011

Home today to 20 powerful Fortune 500 companies, Minnesota’s remarkable economic growth over the past century is a source of pride and provides a fascinating rags-to-riches tale. What got us here and what might our past tell us about our future? A University of Minnesota expert who has taken a new look at Minnesota’s growth is:

Marvin Taylor, doctoral candidate and research assistant, Department of Geography, College of Liberal Arts

Taylor’s current research is a historical analysis of economic development in Minnesota from the end of WWI to the 1950s. “When World II ended, Minnesota’s personal income per capita placed it 30th among the 48 states,” Taylor says. “However, starting in the 1950s, Minnesota would subsequently embark upon a period of remarkable economic growth. By 2001, Minnesota personal income per capita ranked 8th among the 50 states.”

Taylor’s analysis develops through a study of James Ford Bell, the founder of General Mills and an early and visionary proponent for attracting venture capital to the state. “It was the thinking of business leaders such as Bell or former Gov. Orville Freeman that advanced Minnesota’s critical transition from ‘resource’-led development to ‘research’-led development,” Taylor says.

To see a video interview with Taylor discussing the history of Minnesota's economic rise, visit http://youtu.be/pQzV8UOKtEw.

Taylor’s teaching and research interests include nature and society and historical and economic geography.

To interview Taylor, contact Jeff Falk at (612) 626-1720 or jfalk@umn.edu; or Tessa Eagan at (612) 625-3781 or teagan@umn.edu.

Expert Alert is a service provided by the University News Service. Delivered regularly, Expert Alert is designed to connect university experts to today's breaking news and current events. For an archive and other useful media services, visit www.umn.edu/news. Views expressed by experts do not represent the views of the University of Minnesota.

Tags: College of Liberal Arts

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Watch a video interview with Taylor (YouTube)