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Pennsylvania Economic Growth & Deregulation

Experts suggest that implementing deregulation, which reduces government power in any industry, will lead to economic growth in Pennsylvania. Deregulation removes the restrictions from any industry and reduces the struggles with which businesses in that sector or economy can run effectively. With deregulation, various sectors will open up to grant access to new strategies and businesses and drive a competitive edge, influencing economic growth.

This article will examine Pennsylvania’s economic growth and the role deregulation plays.

Tourism and Pennsylvania’s Economic Growth

Tourism is vital to a state’s economic growth. The 2022 data from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania shows that 192.4 million visitors came to the state, an increase from its initial 12 million visitors in 2021. Tourism also yielded $76.7 billion, raked in $4.7 billion in state and local taxes, and supported 486,871 jobs in the same year.

Apart from agriculture and natural resources in states that have them, tourism is one sector that improves the economic growth of a state. Pennsylvania is one such state that has enjoyed and continues to enjoy several benefits from its tourism sector. To drive home the point, Governor Shapiro, on the 13th of March 2024, declared his support for almost 500,000 Pennsylvanians in the travel and tourism sector and placed a request that an extra $15 million be given to them to aid their work.

Knowing that tourism improves citizens’ quality of life while concurrently creating economic opportunities within the state, Governor Shapiro has known his intentions to support the creation of new jobs, strengthen businesses, and attract citizens and visitors from all corners of the world.

Shapiro’s 10-Year Economic Plan

On the 30th of January, 2024, Governor Josh Shapiro revealed the 10-year Pennsylvania Economic Development plan, focusing on the energy, life sciences, agriculture, manufacturing, and robotics and technology sectors. In his speech, the Governor enunciated his exhaustion at losing to states like New York, New Jersey, and Ohio in the economic sector, even though Ohio has a million and a half fewer people than Pennsylvania.

Shapiro also intends to achieve this 10-year economic plan by building vibrant economic regions, creating opportunities and making them available to all, focusing on winning innovations, helping the Pennsylvanian government retain its work speed, and investing in competitive economic growth.  Shapiro also aims at infusing a $3.5 million budget to launch the Pennsylvania Regional Challenge, a $10 million estimate for Pennsylvania’s Agriculture Innovation Program, and $2 million for what he calls “Career Connect” that will not only keep young people in Pennsylvania but also create internships and match workers and employers within the state, just like social media does.

At best, it is a well-thought-out plan, but it does not assure us of the Governor’s intention to invest in online gambling. However, seeing how the legalization of online gambling in other states has brought in more tax money, there is reason to believe that the legalization of online gambling in Pennsylvania is achieving the same results.

Growing Industries in Pennsylvania

Despite the regulations imposed on businesses by the government, several industries still perform effectively. One such industry is Pennsylvania online casinos, which became legal on October 30, 2017, after Governor Tom Wolf signed the bill into law. Since then, several online casinos have gained popularity in Pennsylvania. Online gambling contributes to Pennsylvania’s economic growth through gambling taxes, with 3.07% state and 24% federal taxes. These taxes resolve societal issues and support select economic areas that need financial relief.

Advanced manufacturing is another industry that is excelling in Pennsylvania. Whether it be food, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, electronics, or beverages, Pennsylvania—by training its finest talents—ensures its advanced manufacturing sector stands the test of time.

Pennsylvania has become one of the hotspots for life sciences and medical technology. From medical device and pharmaceutical manufacturing to laboratory testing and medical research, Pennsylvania ranks as one of the top states that functions in this sector.

The point remains that curbing the level of regulation in Pennsylvania will aid economic growth while making it an attractive place for businesses and entrepreneurs.

Pennsylvania Economic Growth & Deregulation

In his research, Broughel – a seasoned economist whose works have been featured on Forbes – reported that over 166,000 regulatory restrictions are enforced in Pennsylvania, ranking the state a whopping 22% more regulated than other states in the United States. Regulations of this sort are partly responsible for the failure of businesses and citizens, and when these businesses fail, individuals are forced to live below the poverty margin. The advanced consequences of these restrictions are often slow economic growth and brain drain as individuals migrate to states with favorable conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does deregulation have any drawbacks?

Possible monopolies, economic instability, and increased inequality are drawbacks of deregulation. However, when done correctly, the benefits of deregulation outweigh the disadvantages.

Will deregulation improve Pennsylvania’s economic growth?

Given the accelerated economic growth Canada and other U.S. states have experienced since they cut down on the regulations guiding their businesses, Pennsylvania will do well with deregulation. Deregulation would make running businesses in the state more accessible and increase economic activity.


Pennsylvania is a state rich in natural resources and manufacturing companies. Still, regulations imposed by its government have limited its economic growth, causing smaller states, like Ohio, to fare better in economic advancement. These restrictions have kept the state operating below its total economic capacity for the longest time, and to level the playing field, several experts have suggested that deregulation be put into place if the state is intentional about growing economically.

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