Economic Freedom and Equality: Friends or Foes?
How does economic freedom, mainly how property rights are designed and protected, relate to income equality? Whilst this is argued to be theoretically ambiguous, the empirical results reveal that there is a positive relationship between changes in economic freedom and equality: the more a country increased its economic freedom between 1975 and 1985, the higher the level of equality around 1985. Most important in this regard is trade liberalization and financial deregulation. Also, there are signs that the level of economic freedom in 1985 is negatively related to the level of equality around that year, plausibly because of less redistribution. Copyright 1999 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
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