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Theory and evidence on economic freedom and economic growth: A comment


  • Joshua Hall

    () (Beloit College)

  • Robert Lawson

    () (Auburn University)


Altman (2007) examines the impact of economic freedom, including its various component parts, on aggregate economic performance across countries. He claims that some of the component parts of economic freedom, measured primarily with the Economic Freedom of the World index, are correlated positively with higher levels of per capita income and growth while others are not. He also attempts to identify "threshold effects" within the data that indicate differential impacts of economic freedom on economic performance at different levels. Although both questions are worthwhile, ultimately his efforts are unconvincing for both theoretical and empirical reasons which we discuss.

Suggested Citation

  • Joshua Hall & Robert Lawson, 2008. "Theory and evidence on economic freedom and economic growth: A comment," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 15(18), pages 1-6.
  • Handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-08o00006

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Dawson, John W., 2003. "Causality in the freedom-growth relationship," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 479-495, September.
    2. Jakob De Haan & Susanna Lundström & Jan-Egbert Sturm, 2006. "Market-oriented institutions and policies and economic growth: A critical survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(2), pages 157-191, April.
    3. Niclas Berggren & Henrik Jordahl, 2006. "Free to Trust: Economic Freedom and Social Capital," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(2), pages 141-169, May.
    4. Robert M. Solow, 1956. "A Contribution to the Theory of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(1), pages 65-94.
    5. Andreas Bergh, 2006. "Is the Swedish Welfare State A Free Lunch?," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 3(2), pages 210-235, May.
    6. Morris Altman, 2008. "How much economic freedom is necessary for economic growth? Theory and evidence," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 15(2), pages 1-20.
    7. Robert J. Barro, 1991. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 407-443.
    8. Konstantinos Angelopoulos & Apostolis Philippopoulos & Efthymios Tsionas, 2008. "Does public sector efficiency matter? Revisiting the relation between fiscal size and economic growth in a world sample," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 137(1), pages 245-278, October.
    9. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116.
    10. Heckelman, Jac C & Stroup, Michael D, 2000. "Which Economic Freedoms Contribute to Growth?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(4), pages 527-544.
    11. Peter H. Lindert, 2003. "Why the Welfare State Looks Like a Free Lunch," NBER Working Papers 9869, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Jac C. Heckelman, 2000. "Economic Freedom and Economic Growth: A Short-run Causal Investigation," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 3, pages 71-91, May.
    13. Robert A. Lawson, 2006. "On Testing the Connection Between Economic Freedom and Growth," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 3(3), pages 398-406, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Tudorel ANDREI & Ani MATEI & Ion Gh. ROSCA, 2009. "The Corruption - An Economic and Social Analysis," Economics Books, The Economica Publishing House, edition 1, volume 1, number 03.

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