Economic Freedom of the World: 2013 Annual Report

$29.95

By James Gwartney, Joshua Hall, and Robert Lawson

About the Report

The first Economic Freedom of the World Report, published in 1996, was the result of a decade of research by a team that included several Nobel Laureates and over 60 other leading scholars in a broad range of fields, including economics, political science, law and philosophy. It rapidly became the world's premier measurement of economic freedom. This is the 17th edition of the Report - produced by the Fraser Institute, a Canadian think-tank, in cooperation with the Cato Institute and the Economic Freedom Network, a group of independent research and educational institutes in nearly 90 nations and territories worldwide.

This year's publication ranks 152 nations, using 42 distinct variables to create an index ranking countries based on policies that encourage economic freedom. Economic freedom is measured in five different areas: (1) size of government, (2) legal system and security of property rights, (3) access to sound money, (4) freedom to trade internationally, and (5) regulation of credit, labor, and business.

Global economic freedom increased modestly in this year's report, though it remains below its peak level of 6.92 in 2007. After a global average drop between 2007 and 2009, the average score rose to 6.87 in 2011, the most recent year for which data is available. In this year's index, Hong Kong retains the highest rating for economic freedom, 8.97 out of 10. The rest of this year's top scores are Singapore, 8.73; New Zealand, 8.49; Switzerland, 8.30; United Arab Emirates, 8.07; Mauritius, 8.01; Finland, 7.98; Bahrain, 7.93; Canada, 7.93; and Australia, 7.88. Research shows that individuals living in countries with high levels of economic freedom enjoy higher levels of prosperity, greater individual freedoms, and longer life spans.

The United States, long considered the standard bearer for economic freedom among large industrial nations, has experienced a substantial decline in economic freedom during the past decade. Due to overspending, weakening rule of law, and increasing regulations on the part of the U.S. government, the United States has seen its economic freedom ranking plummet in recent years, from number two in 2000, to number 17 today.

About the Authors

James Gwartney holds the Gus A. Stavros Eminent Scholar Chair at Florida State University, where he directs the Stavros Center for the Advancement of Free Enterprise and Economic Education. He is a coauthor of Economics: Private and Public Choice (Cengage/South-Western Press), a widely used text on the principles of economics that is now in its twelfth edition. He is also a coauthor of an economics primer, Common Sense Economics: What Everyone Should Know about Wealth and Prosperity (St. Martin's Press, 2005).

Robert A. Lawson is Associate Professor in the Department of Finance at Auburn University where he is Co-Director of the Center for International Finance and Global Competitiveness and Director of the Economic Freedom Initiative. Professor Lawson has numerous professional publications in journals such as Public Choice, Cato Journal, Kyklos, Journal of Labor Research, Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics, and European Journal of Political Economy. He has served as president of the Association of Private Enterprise Education and is a member of the Mont Pelerin Society.

Joshua Hall is an assistant professor in the Department of Economics and Management at Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin. Formerly an economist for the Joint Economic Committee of the US Congress, he has published numerous policy studies and professional publications. Professor Hall's research has appeared in journals such as the Atlantic Economic Journal, Cato Journal, Journal of Economic Education, and Journal of Labor Research.

ISBN: 
978-0-889752-62-7
Number of Pages: 
276

Categories:


Praise for Previous Editions

"The conclusion [of the economic freedom project] is abundantly clear: the freer the economy, the higher the growth and the richer the people. Countries that have maintained a fairly free economy for many years did especially well."
-The Economist

"Economic freedom advances economic growth, reduces poverty and promotes other civil and political freedoms. It is also a tonic against terrorism because of the opportunities it creates. All the nations behind global terrorism lack economic freedom."
-Milton Friedman, Nobel Laureate

$29.95