Brian Parker poses the question: is there any correlation between the relative economic performance of Queensland and NSW and their State of Origin performance?
Brian Parker poses the question: is there any correlation between the relative economic performance of Queensland and NSW and their State of Origin performance? GLENN HUNT

Which state kicks economic goals?

TWENTY-one series wins, two draws and 13 losses in the 36-year history of the series. So how does an economist respond?

Well, by wondering if there's any correlation between the relative economic performance of the two states and their State of Origin performance.

The answer? Well it depends.

There are two main ways to compare the economic performance of different states, neither of which goes back far enough to cover the full history of Origin, and the results vary depending on which one you use. They also vary depending on which decade you look at.

If we use growth in State Final Demand - the total value of goods and services that are sold in a state to buyers who wish to either consume them or retain them in the form of capital assets - to compare the economies, the furthest back we can analyse is 1987.

Over that period the Queensland economy has outstripped NSW in 23 years, or 77% of the time, beating even the Maroons, who beat NSW in "only” 17 of those years, or 57% of the time.

Is there actually a correlation between the economic winner and the Origin winner? Not really. Well, in the last four years of the 1980s, the economic winner and the Origin winner were the same each year, but that is a very small sample and overall the Origin winner and the economic winner are the same half the time.

However, in the 1990s, they only coincided twice, while in the current decade to date, the winners have been the same four times out of six, with this year's economic winner yet to be determined.

But what if we use Gross State Product, which includes each state's trade performance?

Once again in the 1990s the winners only coincided twice.

And in the current decade the winners coincided twice.

Overall, the results using GSP show that since 1991 the Origin winner and the economic winner coincide only 38% of the time.

Does any of this tell us anything useful?

No, not really.

Maybe we should adjust the data for those households and businesses that start out in Queensland and really prosper when they move south, or vice versa?

What could we call that? Economies of Origin?



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