Economic Freedom of the World: 2005 Annual Report

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About the Book

The key ingredients of economic freedom are personal choice, voluntary exchange, freedom to compete, and the protection of person and property. Economic freedom liberates individuals and families from government dependence and gives them control over their own future. Empirical research shows that economic freedom increases prosperity and also leads to democracy and other freedoms.

A special focus this year by Columbia University political scientist Erik Gartzke shows that economic freedom reduces war: nations with low levels of economic freedom are 14 times more prone to violent conflict than nations with high levels of economic freedom. In his striking study, Gartzke also shows that economic freedom is about 50 times more effective than democracy in diminishing violent conflict. This work has highly important policy implications.

Economic Freedom of the World is the most comprehensive index of economic freedom available. In the ninth edition of this widely acclaimed annual report, James Gwartney and Robert Lawson rank the economic freedom of 127 nations, using strict academic measures appropriate for peer‐​reviewed research. First published in 1996, the report is the result of more than a decade of research by more than 100 leading scholars. Every year the authors update the data in collaboration with member institutes in 69 nations, making it the most comprehensive measure in the world. Approximately 200 scholarly articles have employed the data developed in this index.

About the Editors

James D. Gwartney is Professor of Economics and holds the Gus A. Stavros Eminent Scholar Chair at Florida State University, where he directs the Gus A. Stavros Center for the Advancement of Free Enterprise and Economic Education. He is also an Adjunct Scholar of the Cato Institute. Robert A. Lawson is Professor of Economics and holds the George H. Moor Chair in the School of Management at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. Erik Gartzke is Associate Professor of Political Science at Columbia University and a member of the Saltzman institute of War and Peace Studies.

What Others Have Said

“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