From the times of Adam Smith, many have argued that the route to economic prosperity is by allowing the free market (supply and demand) to function in a way that is relatively insulated from intervention by government policy. The term, ‘economic freedom’ has been coined as a measure of the extent to which a country’s government refrains from intervening in markets for labor, capital, goods, and services.
You can read more about the concept of Economic Freedom, and also see how countries rank on this measure on this website: Heritage Foundation’s “Index of Economic Freedom”. Please take a look at the website broadly, and then follow the instructions below to submit a brief assignment.
Just as countries can be compared based on their political freedom, they can also be compared based on economic freedom.
1. Visit the Heritage Foundation’s “Index of Economic Freedom” website (https://www.heritage.org/index/ ). Take a look at the country rankings on the landing page.
2. Click on About the Index in the menu at the top, and read all about the index, including the frequently asked questions.
3. Then, click on the Country Rankings tab at the top to see country descriptions.
4. Click through to read the reports for the United States, as well as for the same two countries you considered for the above assignment (on Political Freedom).
5. Open a Word document and write one (1) paragraph for each of these three countries. (Feel free to (optionally) include your opinion about the arguments made in the infant formula article as part of your discussion of Economic Freedom in the US.)
Your paragraph should analyze the constraints that the country likely faces in increasing its “economic freedom” ranking in any of the four categories (Rule of Law, Regulatory Efficiency, Government Size, Open Markets). The constraints you identify could be political, philosophical, institutional, technical, or based on other factors.