I saw this post on BigThink yesterday and, well, it got me to thinking. It shows the “best” and “worst” of each state; some category for which each state is the best in the nation, and some category for which it is the worst. Nebraska is the best state in the nation when it comes to public corruption (i.e. we have the least).
Corruption is a big deal, especially in the comparative literature. It seems like this would be a really interesting question to pursue for someone so inclined. The worst state in the country, according to the map, is Tennessee, so it cannot all be the result of population or historic connection to organized crime. Does Nebraska have some institutional arrangement that decreases the ease of corruption? Is there some path dependent effect that’s not obvious? Etc. It could be a straight-up comparative study, comparing Nebraska and Tennessee on hypothesized variables.
It seems like this question would have real academic and policy value.