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Kyle Dean - Oklahoma vs. Texas

We visit with OSU Economic Researcher, Kyle Dean, about the growing dependence Oklahoma and Texas have on each other.
Kyle Dean - Oklahoma vs. Texas

Rob McClendon and Kyle Dean

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Oklahoma State University

Show Dates

Show 1022: Interview with Kyle Dean

Air date: May 30, 2010



Rob:  Well Toby Keith’s cross-border success is certainly not isolated.  I recently sat down with OSU Economic Researcher, Kyle Dean, to talk about the growing dependence our two states have on each other.

Kyle, in terms of our economy, does Oklahoma actually need Texas?

Kyle Dean:  Well in terms of our economy, we would say that Oklahoma and Texas outcomes are somewhat linked; in particular, Oklahoma needing Texas.  As Texas grows we find that Oklahoma actually grows as a result of that Texas growth; so absolutely.

Rob:  Now I’ve heard you use the term megalopolis, I want you to tell us exactly what that is.

Kyle:  Well other than being a tongue-twister, a megalopolis is a grouping of metropolises.  This idea of a megalopolis started in the 60’s with the French Geographer known as Jean Gottmann and what he studied was this idea that in the northeast there were certain metropolises that were, that their fates were linked; they shared production, or perhaps they shared culture, they shared other resources.  And this megalopolis in the northeast became known as the Boss Wash, so it extended all the way from Boston down to Washington, DC; it included all the major metropolitans in between.  Over time people started looking at other large conglomerations of metropolises and so, currently there are, it’s sort of a, there’s not an official recognition of a megalopolis; but, there’s an unofficial recognition, if you will, that there are 10 megalopolises and the I-35 Corridor, of which we’re a part, is one of those ten.

Rob:  And, and I want you tell us exactly what the I-35 Corridor is and why it has become so important.

Kyle:  Okay; the, the I-35 Corridor is kind of interesting, it, it’s a different thing for different people in different regions.  So if you were to do a search on the I-35 Corridor you might find a report from, let’s say the Department of Transportation in Iowa talking about the I-35 Corridor; well most people don’t recognize Iowa or Des Moines as a part of the I-35 Corridor.  The way that we define the I-35 Corridor is it’s the area around I-35 that extends from Kansas City southward all the way to San Antonio, Texas.

Rob:  So as Texas grows, how does that impact Oklahoma?

Kyle:  Well in a number of ways, certainly as Texas grows they buy inputs into manufacturing, they buy retail goods from Oklahoma producers, and, you know, recently, I guess in the last few years, there was a group that purchased the Texhoma Lodge and that property surrounding there.  So one of the things they’re looking to do is, is to create a tourism destination; they’re looking to have a few golf courses, essentially make it a nice place for Texas residents to go, as well as Oklahoma residents.  And one thing that we’re seeing as Texas grows is the population is pushing farther and farther north toward Oklahoma, and the more that that occurs, the more it becomes feasible for Texas residents to come and tour Oklahoma lakes, spend in Oklahoma malls, buy inputs from Oklahoma producers.

Rob:  So in your research, what will the future hold?

Kyle:  Well certainly Texas growth is gonna continue farther north, and the more farther north that that occurs, we believe that these two regions are gonna be more inextricably linked than they are even today.  And one of the things about megalopolises that, that we need to think about is, as we’re working in global economy, a megalopolis when you pair these metropolises together and they specialize in certain production items or manufacturing or whatever, the more competitive certain megalopolises can be on the world market, the better off they’re going to be.  And so when it comes to Oklahoma City and Dallas Fort Worth, there might be areas that those two regions can cooperate together to create infrastructure, certain projects that will make both of them more competitive on a global market.  And so in the future I would expect policies to be formed where we can create a nice competitive environment that includes both Oklahoma City and Dallas and maybe even extends down to Austin and up to Tulsa and down on to San Antonio and then maybe even up to Kansas City.

Rob:  So while we may be rivals on the football field, we may well be partners in the board room.

Kyle:  Absolutely.

Rob:  Okay, thank you so much, Kyle Dean.

Kyle:  You bet.