(The Center Square) — A new Fraser Institute report ranks Pennsylvania 19th among U.S. states for economic freedom.
The North America Economic Freedom 2021 The report analyzes 2019 data on 10 variables related to public spending, taxation and labor market regulations in the 50 states, 10 Canadian provinces and 32 Mexican states.
“The freest economies operate with minimal government interference, relying on personal choice and markets to answer fundamental economic questions such as what should be produced, how it should be produced, how much is produced and to whom. production is intended,” according to the report. “As the government places restrictions on these choices, there is less economic freedom.”
Pennsylvania earned an overall score of 6.56 out of 10 for economic freedom, slightly better than the 6.47 score it got last year, when the state was ranked 24th.
Pennsylvania got its highest score (7.49) this year for labor market regulation; the seventh best state in the country. The state received a score of 6.22 for public spending and 5.98 for taxation, which translates to 32nd and 29th respectively out of 50.
“In the United States, the most economically free state was New Hampshire at 7.83, followed closely by Tennessee at 7.82, Florida at 7.78, Texas at 7.75 and Virginia at 7.59”, according to the report. “The least free state was New York at 4.33, after California at 4.68, Vermont at 4.86, West Virginia at 5.00 and New Mexico at 5.01.”
The report uses two indices to compare jurisdictions in the same and different countries. In the broader selection of all governments which also includes legal systems, property rights, good money management and freedom of international trade, the results were slightly different.
In the all-government category, Pennsylvania ranked 27th out of 92 North American states and provinces with a score of 8.03, just below the 8.04 average for US states.
Delaware was the worst state in the broader category with a 7.79, ranking 53rd out of 92. New Hampshire had the highest score with an 8.23.
The Fraser Institute has highlighted the importance of economic freedom and how it translates into generally higher per capita income for citizens.
“Jurisdictions in the least free quartile have an average per capita income of just US$2,362,” according to the report. “This compares to an average per capita income of US$51,666 for the 23 top-ranked jurisdictions.”
At the subnational level, or within each country, “jurisdictions in the most free quartile had per capita incomes 7.5% higher than the national average, while those in the least free quartile were 1% lower than the national average. -this. In each index, the average per capita income in the most free jurisdictions is significantly higher than in the least free ones,” the institute reported.
The report shows that government measures preventing people from engaging in mutually beneficial transactions have serious consequences for their well-being and society in general, the institute argued.
“In some ways, it is surprising that the debate still rages on because the evidence and theory in favor of economic freedom matches intuition: it makes sense that the drive and ingenuity of individuals produce better results through to the mutually beneficial mechanism of exchange that the conceptions of a small coterie of government planners, who can hardly know each other’s values and who, being human, are likely to consider first their own well-being and that of the voters whom they ‘they must satisfy when making decisions for all of us,’ according to the report.