Fraser Institute Press Release: Hundreds of Studies Conclude Economic Freedom Works | Nation/World


TORONTO, Aug. 18, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — According to an extensive literature review, economic freedom helps produce faster economic growth, higher living standards and more happiness.

“In academia, there is a growing consensus that increased economic freedom correlates with positive outcomes for people in countries around the world,” said Robert A. Lawson, professor of economics at Southern Methodist University and author of Economic freedom in literature: what good is it (bad)?

The review examined 721 empirical articles (published between 1996 and 2022) using the economic freedom of the world index, which measures economic freedom – the ability of individuals to make their own economic decisions – by analyzing the policies and institutions of jurisdictions and evaluating indicators such as regulation, size of government, property rights, spending public and taxation.

More than 50% of the papers reported good correlations between economic freedom (as measured by the index) and good outcomes (faster economic growth, higher standard of living, reduced conflict, etc.) outcomes. Only one article out of 20 reported a bad result.

“Research shows that economic freedom drives prosperity and economic growth and also leads to positive outcomes in other areas,” Lawson said. “When free to do so, individuals and families – not crony elites or overpowered governments – make the best decisions for themselves.”

The majority of studies in the following areas have found economic freedom to be linked to:

  • reduction of conflicts, wars, civil unrest and terrorist attacks
  • increased entrepreneurship and innovation
  • stronger economic growth
  • improving human rights and social development
  • increased income and productivity
  • improved labor market outcomes, including reduced unemployment and increased wages and participation

“Personal choice, voluntary trade and open markets remain the cornerstones of economic freedom, which is the key to prosperity around the world,” Lawson said.


Robert A. Lawson, (614) 668-2138, [email protected]

To arrange media interviews or for more information, please contact:

Mark Hasiuk, Senior Media Relations Specialist, Fraser Institute, (604) 688-0221 Ext. 517, [email protected]

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The Fraser Institute is an independent Canadian public policy research and education organization with offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal and links to a global network of think tanks in 87 countries. Its mission is to improve the quality of life of Canadians, their families and future generations by studying, measuring and widely communicating the effects of government policies, entrepreneurship and choices on their well-being. To protect the independence of the Institute, it does not accept government grants or research contracts. Visit

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