Put simply, the greater a country’s economic freedom, the greater its level of prosperity over time. Likewise, the greater a country’s economic freedom, the faster it will grow. Economic freedom, which includes not only policies, such as free trade and stable money, but also institutions, such as the rule of law and the security of private property rights, increases more than income. It is also strongly related to improvements in other development indicators such as longevity, access to safe drinking water, lower corruption, and dramatically higher incomes for the poorest members of society.

More on Economic Freedom

Commentary

An Economic Renewal Built on Optimism

By Richard W. Rahn. Washington Times. May 11, 2015.

Wealth Gap Rhetoric in the Face of Reality

By James A. Dorn. Caixin Online. May 8, 2015.

Lessons from a Happy Place

By Richard W. Rahn. Washington Times. April 27, 2015.

Cato Studies

Austerity in 2009–2013

By Alberto Alesina, Omar Barbiero, Carlo Favero, Francesco Giavazzi, & Matteo Paradisi. Research Briefs in Economic Policy No. 19. February 4, 2015.

Asia’s Story of Growing Economic Freedom

By Razeen Sally. Policy Analysis No. 725. June 5, 2013.

Zimbabwe: Why Is One of the World’s Least-Free Economies Growing So Fast?

By Craig J. Richardson. Policy Analysis No. 722. March 18, 2013.

Articles

The Rise of Emerging Economies: Challenges and Liberal Perspectives

Juan Carlos Hidalgo. The Friedrich Naumann Stifftung. November 5, 2013.

What Are the Lessons from Post-Communist Transitions?

Dalibor Rohac. Economic Affairs. Vol. 33. No. 1. February 6, 2013.

From Fighting the Drug War to Protecting the Right to Use Drugs: Recognizing a Forgotten Liberty

Doug Bandow. Towards a Worldwide Index of Human Freedom. 2013.

Public Filings

Vong v. Aune

By Ilya Shapiro, Eliott Engstrom, and Julio Colomba. Legal Briefs. March 3, 2015.

On International Economic and Exchange Rate Policy Hearings

By Steve H. Hanke. Testimony. May 1, 2002.

Cato Reviews & Journals

The Impact of Economic Inequality on Economic Freedom

Ryan Murphy. Cato Journal. Winter 2015.

Australia’s Regulatory ‘Bonfire’

Jeff Bennett and Susan E. Dudley. Regulation. Fall 2014.

Protecting Freedom Where It’s Threatened

Policy Report. July/August 2014.

Events

Ranking Economic Freedom around the World

Featuring Ian Vásquez and Caleb O. Brown. October 28, 2014. Sponsor E-Briefing.

The Undercover Economist Strikes Back: How to Run — or Ruin — an Economy

Featuring Dalibor Rohac. January 23, 2014. Book Forum.

Knowledge and Power: The Information Theory of Capitalism and How It Is Revolutionizing Our World

Featuring Arnold Kling and James A. Dorn. December 5, 2013. Book Forum.