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


Brazil’s Bolsonaro Is No Friend of Liberty

By Juan Carlos Hidalgo. National Interest (Online). October 26, 2018.

The State of Liberalism in Central and Eastern Europe

By Tanja Porčnik. Emerging Europe. October 6, 2018.

Venezuela’s Retrogressing Economy – Exhibit 1, PDVSA

By Steve H. Hanke. Forbes.com. September 19, 2018.

Cato Studies

Tesla Takes On Michigan

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

Curse or Blessing? How Institutions Determine Success in Resource-Rich Economies

By Peter Kaznacheev. Policy Analysis No. 808. January 11, 2017.

Capitalism’s Assault on the Indian Caste System: How Economic Liberalization Spawned Low-Caste Dalit Millionaires

By Swaminathan S. Anklesaria Aiyar. Policy Analysis No. 776. July 21, 2015.


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.

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.


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.

Cato Institute Policy Perspectives 2018

Featuring Harrison Moar, Jeffrey A. Singer, Ryan Bourne, & Clint Bolick. January 18, 2018. City Seminar.


Why the IMF Should Not Intervene

By Ian Vásquez. February 25, 1998.