HF: Index of Economic Freedom

The Heritage  Foundation The Heritage Foundation

Washington, DC

Economist Adam Smith formed this theory in his influential work, The Wealth of Nations, in 1776. In 2010, his theory is measured – and proven – in the Index of Economic Freedom, an annual guide published by The Wall Street Journal and The Heritage Foundation, Washington’s No. 1 think tank.

When institutions protect the liberty of individuals, greater prosperity results for all.

For over a decade, The Wall Street Journal and The Heritage Foundation, Washington’s preeminent think tank, have tracked the march of economic freedom around the world with the influential Index of Economic Freedom. Since 1995, the Index has brought Smith’s theories about liberty, prosperity and economic freedom to life by creating 10 benchmarks that gauge the economic success of 183 countries around the world. With its user-friendly format, readers can see how 18th century theories on prosperity and economic freedom are realities in the 21st century.

Experts

For over a decade, The Wall Street Journal and The Heritage Foundation, Washington’s preeminent think tank, have tracked the march of economic freedom around the world with the influential Index of Economic Freedom. In 2009, the Index of Economic Freedom has been redesigned to be accessible to the congressional staffer and the college student, the finance minister and the financial adviser.

The Index covers 10 freedoms – from property rights to entrepreneurship – in 183 countries. The 2009 edition also began analyzing regions to showcase the freest economies in every part of the world.

What is economic freedom?

Economic freedom is the fundamental right of every human to control his or her own labor and property. In an economically free society, individuals are free to work, produce, consume, and invest in any way they please, with that freedom both protected by the state and unconstrained by the state. In economically free societies, governments allow labor, capital and goods to move freely, and refrain from coercion or constraint of liberty beyond the extent necessary to protect and maintain liberty itself.

How do you measure economic freedom?

We measure ten components of economic freedom, assigning a grade in each using a scale from 0 to 100, where 100 represents the maximum freedom. The ten component scores are then averaged to give an overall economic freedom score for each country. The ten components of economic freedom are:

  • Business Freedom
  • Trade Freedom
  • Fiscal Freedom
  • Government Spending
  • Monetary Freedom
  • Investment Freedom
  • Financial Freedom
  • Property rights
  • Freedom from Corruption
  • Labor Freedom

About Georgia: 2010

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