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Economic Freedom

Economic freedom has been shown in numerous peer-reviewed studies to promote prosperity and other positive outcomes. It is a necessary condition for democratic development. It liberates people from dependence on government in a planned economy, and allows them to make their own economic and political choices. For information on the effects of economic freedom, please see papers.

The classic definition of economic freedom is:

Individuals have economic freedom when property they acquire without the use of force, fraud, or theft is protected from physical invasions by others and they are free to use, exchange, or give their property as long as their actions do not violate the identical rights of others. An index of economic freedom should measure the extent to which rightly acquired property is protected and individuals are engaged in voluntary transactions.
James Gwartney and Robert Lawson et al.
Economic Freedom of the World: 1996 Annual Report


What are the benefits of economic freedom? Watch the short animated video on YouTube.

Economic Freedom Network

The Economic Freedom Network is devoted to promoting economic freedom around the world. The network has member institutes in over 87 nations. For further information, see Economic Freedom Network Members.

Annual Reports: Economic Freedom of the World

Our annual report, Economic Freedom of the World, uses 42 distinct pieces of data to measure economic freedom in 157 nations. Please see the latest report for further details.

Economic Freedom of the World software

Download Software

The Economic Freedom of the World index data has been incorporated in a software tool which you can use to search, filter, and export from. In addition, the entire World Bank Development Indicators are available so correlations can be drawn between economic freedom and economic outcomes such as health, wealth, literacy and many more.
visit the EFW Data site:



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