It is a frequent conservative mantra that government taxation and regulation prevent economic growth. Economists Atif Mian and Amir Sufi looked at this claim for a new paper from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

Using survey data from the National Federation of Independent Business, the two researchers found that when businesses complained most of lack of sales and demand, unemployment was highest. The research also showed that “there was almost no correlation between job growth in a state from 2008 to 2011 and the increase in the percentage of businesses citing regulation and taxes as their primary concern. In fact, if anything, the correlation is positive.”

This new research, which again relies on the complaints of businesses themselves, seems to undermine this conservative mantra.