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


An Old-Fashioned Recipe for Economic Growth

By Chelsea Follett and Marian L. Tupy. American Spectator (Online). August 16, 2019.

If Protesters Want to Protect Hong Kong’s Way of Life, They Must Win the War of Ideas

By James A. Dorn. South China Morning Post. August 2, 2019.

Love Will Set You Free from Populism

By Mustafa Akyol. Foreign Policy. July 1, 2019.

Cato Studies

A Reform Agenda for the Next Indian Government

By Swaminathan S. Anklesaria Aiyar. Policy Analysis No. 869. May 21, 2019.

Tesla Takes On Michigan

By Will Zerhouni. Policy Analysis No. 834. February 27, 2018.

Piketty’s Botched Analysis of Inequality in India

By Swaminathan S. Anklesaria Aiyar. Economic Development Bulletin No. 28. November 16, 2017.


Freedom under Assail

Tanja Porčnik. The Market for Ideas. No. 13. September 2018.

Standing Strong and Firm for Personal Freedoms

Tanja Porčnik. 4Liberty.eu Review. No. 8. April 82018.

The Challenge of Populism

Cato's Letter. Mario Vargas Llosa and Alvaro Vargas Llosa. Vol. 16. No. 1. Winter 2018.

Public Filings

Vong v. Aune

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

Ownership with Chinese Characteristics: Private Property Rights and Land Reform in the PRC

By James A. Dorn. Testimony. February 3, 2003.

Cato Reviews & Journals

Is Global Freedom on the Decline?

Policy Report. March/April 2018.

Extending the Economic Freedom of the World Index to the Cold War Era

Ryan Murphy and Robert A. Lawson. Cato Journal. Winter 2018.

Former Centrally Planned Economies 25 Years after the Fall of Communism

James D. Gwartney and Hugo M. Montesinos. Cato Journal. Winter 2018.


Socialism Sucks: Two Economists Drink Their Way through the Unfree World

Featuring Robert A. Lawson, Benjamin Powell, Ian Vásquez, & Matthew B. Kibbe. July 31, 2019. Book Forum.

Sweden: Lessons for America?

Featuring Johan Norberg and Ian Vásquez. September 13, 2018. Policy Forum.

The Debasement of Human Rights: How Politics Sabotage the Ideal of Freedom

Featuring Aaron Rhodes, James Kirchick, Roger Pilon, & Ian Vásquez. May 15, 2018. Book Forum.


Why the IMF Should Not Intervene

By Ian Vásquez. February 25, 1998.