February 7, 2017 Print

For more than 30 years, the Fraser Institute has focused on the problem of how to develop a clearly defined measurement of economic freedom throughout the world, and for more than 20 years Fraser’s “Economic Freedom of the World” annual reports have been a “fully transparent and objective” standard resource for comparing the degree of economic freedom in countries around the world. In January, Fraser debuted a new online home for “Economic Freedom of the World” that features a user-friendly format for interactive data analysis tools.

“The site offers a wide array of new features, including an interactive world map and customized graphing and data downloads, which will make it significantly easier for people to analyze and share economic freedom data,” said Fred McMahon, Michael Walker Chair of Economic Freedom Research with the Fraser Institute. “It is mobile-friendly and highly visual whether you are viewing it on a smart phone, tablet, or desktop computer.”

Researchers can now compare and parse Fraser’s “Economic Freedom of the World” data in a variety of interactive visual formats, as well as easily exporting information to work with in other analytical software packages.

“Through the 20th century, many were all too ready to give up their freedom for the siren songs of fascism and communism, which falsely promised increased prosperity, opportunity and fairness,” McMahon said. “Fortunately, the Economic Freedom of the World Index provides a freedom measure that can be tested against other outcomes. Since the launch of the index, more than 600 fact-based, peer-reviewed academic and policy articles have found that economic freedom leads to increased prosperity and a broad range of non-economic positive outcomes.”

Fraser’s “Economic Freedom of the World” report is augmented each year by in-depth regional reports, “Economic Freedom of North America” and “Economic Freedom of the Arab World,” as well as the Human Freedom Index, which “uses 79 distinct indicators of personal and economic freedom” to compare how countries throughout the world rank in terms of a more broadly considered individual liberty.

The University of Pennsylvania, which compares global think tank influence every year in its “Global Go To Think Tank Index,” has ranked Fraser’s “Economic Freedom of the World” as the fifth most influential report published out of the 6,618 think tanks the university ranks throughout the world.