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Economic Freedom of the World 2017: Fraser Institute’s Annual Report

September 28, 2017 3:20 pm A+ / A-

  As associate member of Fraser Institute, Fundación Libertad y Progreso anounces the publication of the Economic Freedom of The World Annual Report 2017, produced by the famous canadian institute. 

 The index published in Economic Freedom of the World measures the degree to which the policies and institutions of countries are supportive of economic freedom. The cornerstones of economic freedom are personal choice, voluntary exchange, freedom to enter markets and compete, and security of the person and privately owned property. Forty-two data points are used to construct a summary index and to measure the degree of economic freedom in five broad areas.

  • Area 1: Size of Government—As spending and taxation by government, and the size of government-controlled enterprises increase, government decision-making is substituted for individual choice and economic freedom is reduced.
  • Area 2: Legal System and Property Rights—Protection of persons and their rightfully acquired property is a central element of both economic freedom and civil society. Indeed, it is the most important function of government.
  • Area 3: Sound Money—Inflation erodes the value of rightfully earned wages and savings. Sound money is thus essential to protect property rights. When inflation is not only high but also volatile, it becomes difficult for individuals to plan for the future and thus use economic freedom effectively.
  • Area 4: Freedom to Trade Internationally—Freedom to exchange—in its broadest sense, buying, selling, making contracts, and so on—is essential to economic freedom, which is reduced when freedom to exchange does not include businesses and individuals in other nations.
  • Area 5: Regulation—Governments not only use a number of tools to limit the right to exchange internationally, they may also develop onerous regulations that limit the right to exchange, gain credit, hire or work for whom you wish, or freely operate your business.

The EFW index now ranks 159 countries and territories. Data available for approximately 100 nations and territories back to 1980, and for many back to 1970, make it possible for scholars to analyze the impact of cross-country differences in economic freedom and changes in that freedom across three decades.

Top-rated countries

Hong Kong and Singapore, once again, occupy the top two positions. The other nations in the top 10 are New Zealand, Switzerland, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Mauritius, Georgia, Australia, and Estonia.

Lowest-rated countries

The 10 lowest-rated countries are: Iran, Chad, Myanmar, Syria, Libya, Argentina, Algeria, the Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic, and, lastly, Venezuela.

Who’s up? Who’s down?
The five nations showing the biggest declines in economic freedom from 2000 to 2015 are Venezuela, Argentina, Bolivia, Iceland, and Greece. The five nations with the largest gains in economic freedom over the period are Romania, Bulgaria, Rwanda, Albania, and Cyprus.

Nations that are economically free out-perform non-free nations in indicators of well-being

Nations in the top quartile of economic freedom had an average per-capita GDP of $42,463 in 2015, compared to $6,036 for bottom quartile nations (PPP constant 2011 US$). ◼ In the top quartile, the average income of the poorest 10% was $11,998, compared to $1,124 in the bottom quartile in 2015 (PPP constant 2011 US$). 

Download the full report at https://www.fraserinstitute.org/studies/economic-freedom-of-the-world-2017-annual-report

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