Low-price states, where $100 is most valuable, include Ohio,
South Dakota, Mississippi and Arkansas. The relative value in each state is
$111.61, $114.16, $115.21 and $114.29, respectively.
High-price states, where $100 is worth the least, are New
York ($86.73), California ($89.05), Hawaii ($86.06) and New Jersey ($87.34). The
cost of living is incredibly high in places like California and New York, so it's
not surprising to see how little $100 is worth.
Labor economists have identified a compensating differential
in certain states. Places with high costs, like the District of Columbia, offer
higher pay to make up for the low purchasing power of the dollar. However, some
states have high incomes without the high living costs, like North Dakota.
It puts a different perspective on which states are actually
rich and which are poor. The implications of this study can reach as far as
minimum wage, tax brackets and other public policies. Of course, with different
price levels across the country, they will change from state to state.