07 Jan 2009

PRI Report on the "Sizzle of Economic Freedom"

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Over the summer I helped Lawrence McQuillan at PRI with its new report, “The Sizzle of Economic Freedom,” that summarizes the empirical literature on the benefits of economic freedom. (Press release here, actual report pdf here.) The way it works is that there are a few fairly objective rankings of countries (or smaller regions such as US states) in terms of economic liberty. Then, economists have run regressions etc. to test whether economic liberty is a significant explanatory variable when it comes to things as diverse as GDP growth, unemployment, literacy rates, and childhood vaccination. I was surprised by how much empirical work has already been done in this area. It’s not just “blind faith” in markets anymore.

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