Post by hummingbird
mysteriously appeared thru the usenet mist to inform us thus...
Post by Maria
Can anyone tell me, in which country in the world, people have the
most freedoms? Which country is the least regulated and prohibitive?
Check out the Economist website. They did a survey some time ago.
I have to say, Britain didn't come very close to the top.
I took your hint to The Economist and found
Cato Institute report rates economic freedom of the world
According to The Economist, study is "best attempt yet to define and measure
Hong Kong and Singapore are the most economically free jurisdictions in the
world according to the Economic Freedom of the World: 2000 Annual Report,
released concurrently today in Washington, D.C., and in Hong Kong. The
report, published by the Cato Institute and Canada's Fraser Institute, in
conjunction with institutes from 53 other countries, ranks 123 countries on
their level of economic freedom.
This comprehensive index, constructed under the leadership of Nobel Laureate
in Economics, Milton Friedman, is the most objective and accurate measure of
economic freedom published by any organization. It is co-authored by James
Gwartney, Professor of Economics at Florida State University, and Robert
Lawson, Associate Professor of Economics at Capital University.
"This publication is important to developed and developing countries alike
because it shows the critical role that economic freedom plays in achieving
and maintaining prosperity," says Ian Vásquez, director of the Project on
Global Economic Liberty at the Cato Institute.
The United States remains fourth freest economy in the world
The economic freedom rating of the United States has remained remarkably
consistent over the last three decades, placing it fourth. The Unites States
continues to benefit from a sound monetary regime that has much improved
since 1980. Since 1995, however, the U.S. rating on international exchange
has fallen somewhat, reflecting protectionist sentiments in the country.
Hong Kong and Singapore currently share top position as the freest
jurisdictions in the world followed by New Zealand (3), the United States
(4), and the United Kingdom (5). Other countries ranking near the top of the
list include Ireland (6), Canada (7), Australia (7), Netherlands (9),
Luxembourg (9), and Switzerland (9). The least free economies include
Myanmar (123), Democratic Republic of Congo (122), Sierra Leone (121),
Rwanda (120), Madagascar (119), and Guinea-Bissau (118).
In the 1990s a number of Latin American countries achieved dramatic
improvements in both their ratings and rankings. Peru, Nicaragua, Argentina,
El Salvador, and Dominican Republic all improved their rankings by at least
2 places. Among Eastern nations, Russia, Hungary and Poland have improved
their levels of economic freedom. Countries that lost economic freedom in
the 1990s include Benin, Chad, Malaysia, Cameroon, and Senegal.
Economic freedom leads to greater prosperity
One of the most compelling results of the study is the relationship between
economic freedom and prosperity. Countries that score in the top quintile of
economic freedom had an average per capita GDP of US$18,108 and an average
growth rate of 1.6%. As freedom declined, so did the average per capita GDP,
as well as the average growth rate. The bottom 20 percent of economically
free countries had an average per capita GDP of US$1,669 and an average
growth rate of -1.32%. Also, life expectancy in the top quintile is twenty
years longer than that found in the bottom quintile.
Research based on the Economic Freedom of the World data confirms that
countries with consistently high levels of economic freedom perform far
better, both financially and non-financially, than those with low levels of
economic freedom. The research indicates that political leadership which
fosters more economic freedom creates a foundation for a higher standard of
living and increased economic growth.
This edition of Economic Freedom of the World presents updated figures and
backdates the data to 1970 (where possible).
The addition of historical data makes this the most comprehensive measure of
economic freedom ever published. This wealth of data provides researchers
with an opportunity to further explore the relationships between economic
freedom and other important social indicators.
The seven major categories of variables included in the index are: (1) size
of government, (2) the structure of the economy and use of markets, (3)
monetary policy and price stability, (4) freedom to use alternative
currencies, (5) legal structure and security of private ownership, (6)
freedom of trade with foreigners, and (7) freedom of exchange in capital and
Data on twenty-three variables was gathered for 123 countries in the most
recent year. These variables quantify the restrictions on economic freedom
imposed by governments in a variety of areas. A score from 0 to 10 (0 being
least free, 10 representing freest) was found for each variable for each
country. Principal component analysis (an advanced statistical technique)
was used to attach weights to the component data that were combined to
create a summary rating.
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