Arnold Kling  

More on the Economic Freedom Indexes

We're Number 10! We're Number... The Decline in U.S. Economic F...

David has posted on this already. But I want to quote from the Executive Summary.

Hong Kong retains the highest rating for economic freedom, 9.01 out of 10. The other nations among the top 10 are: Singapore (8.68); New Zealand (8.20); Switzerland (8.03); Australia (7.98); Canada (7.81); Chile (7.77); United Kingdom (7.71); Mauritius (7.67); and the United States (7.60).

Time to start looking into buying property in one of those other countries.

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COMMENTS (8 to date)
Michael Fisk writes:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but, with this ranking showing the United States behind Mauritius, would this mark the first time on one of these rankings that the US has placed below an African nation?

fawful writes:

Mauritius has indeed been thriving, although ethnically Mauritius is more of an Indian offshoot than African. Mauritius also has very open immigration, I'm sure that helps somewhat.

Mike writes:

Yet another thing about economic freedom indexes: to get a more accurate measure, one must search all of the "property rights" sections and subtract about 30 points from any score that says "strong intellectual property protection" , then recalculate.

Arthur_500 writes:

Call me old fashioned but seeing Singapore and Freedom in the same sentence makes me cringe. I guess economic freedom is different than personal freedom

David N. Welton writes:

Creation of companies is not cheap in Switzerland, if I recall correctly. As a 'web guy', that's a bit of economic freedom that I find particularly relevant. The capital required to start something in my field is really, really minimal - the largest cost is the opportunity cost of not working at some other job. However, spending a bunch of money just for the formation of a company, for something highly speculative, is a great annoyance in much of continental Europe.

PrometheeFeu writes:

I must say I would very much like to see adjustments along the lines of what Mike says. Strong intellectual properties sound like government-granted monopolies, not economic freedoms.

Also, I would be careful about where you want to move. Singapore may have lots of economic freedoms, but they are kind of low on non-economic freedoms.

James K writes:

Singapore my have issues with personal freedom, but I'd rate New Zealand better than the US on personal freedoms (unless gun possession matters a lot to you, because to be fair we don't permit access to guns as freely as much of the US). Prostitution is legal here, and we don't send armed stormtroopers against drug users (unless they're actually carrying weapons).

jc writes:

Pretty soon we may see posts claiming that economic freedom doesn't necessarily measure what we think it does (especially w/ respect to the link b/w government size and economic growth, as opposed to good governance and economic growth).

Of course, there are plenty of studies that measure subcomponents of these indexes on their own (including, of course, govt. size), and in my experience they generally seem to be in line w/ the findings associated w/ blunt aggregated indexes like the EFW.

Fwiw, here are the partial correlations b/w economic freedom and economic growth of various studies over the years, courtesy of Doucouliagos and Ulubasoglu's 2006 meta-analysis (ungated link at bottom):

0.35 Abrams and Lewis (1995)
0.06 (ns) Adkins et al. (2002)
0.32 Ali (2003)
0.21 Ali and Crain (2001,2002)
0.51 Assane and Grammy (2003)
0.22 Bengoa and Sanchez-Robles (2003)
0.49 Berggren and Jordahl (2005)
0.53 Carlsson and Lundstrom (2002)
0.44 Cole (2003)
0.29 Comeau (2003a)
0.13 Dawson (1998)
0.12 Dawson (2003)
0.26 deHaan and Siermann (1998)
0.59 deVanssay and Spindler (1994)
0.19 deVanssay and Spindler (1996)
0.44 Easton and Walker (1997)
0.11 Farr et al. (1998)
0.13 Fidrmuc (2003)
0.38 Goldsmith (1995)
0.37 Goldsmith (1997)
0.39 Gounder (2002)
0.2 Grammy and Assane (1996)
0.29 Gwartney et al. (1999)
0.61 Hanke and Walters (1997)
0.66 Hanson (2003)
0.15 Heckelman (2000)
0.68 Heckelman and Stroup (2000a,b)
0.25 Islam (1996)
0.71 Johnson and Lenartowicz (1998)
0.67 Karabegovic et al. (2003)
0.78 Lallet al. (2002)
0.37 Leschke (2000)
0.18 Nelson and Singh (1998)
0.42 Norton (2003)
0.32 Park and Ginarte (1997)
0.34 Pitlik (2002)
0.13 (ns) Ram (2000)
0.27 Scully (1988)
0.2 Scully (2002)
0.12 (ns) Spindler (1991)
0.33 Sturm and deHaan (2001)
-0.01 (ns) Sturm et al. (2002)
0.32 Torstensson (1994)
0.13 (ns) Weede and Kampf (2002)
0.07 Wu and Davis (1999)

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