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Proxies for Economic Freedom: A Critique of the Hanson Critique

Listed author(s):
  • Jac C. Heckelman


    (Wake Forest University)

Economic freedom indicators have become quite popular recently as a useful tool to quantify the relationship between a country's institutions and its prosperity. In a recent article, Hanson (2003) criticizes these types of studies for: (i) failing to adequately distinguish between different proxies for economic freedom, (ii) not considering the potential for endogeneity, and (iii) accepting significance of economic freedom's ability to promote prosperity even though regression analysis generates “nonsensical” results. Closer inspection reveals that most of his arguments are questionable, do not apply to much of the literature, or are not original, and that he is guilty of misinterpreting his own econometric evidence relating freedom to the level of GDP.

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Article provided by Southern Economic Association in its journal Southern Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 72 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2 (October)
Pages: 492-501

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Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:72:2:y:2005:p:492-501
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