February 20, 2018 Print

Two thousand copies of the 2017 Economic Freedom of the World Report have been translated into Slovenian and published by the Visio Institut, an Atlas Network partner based in Ljubljana, Slovenia, as part of the organization’s ongoing effort to highlight the importance of economic freedom. Along with the translated reports of 2015 and 2016, the publication of the most recent Economic Freedom of the World Report is aimed at influencing Slovene government policy and public support for policy change. The report is originally published by another Atlas Network partner, the Canada-based Fraser Institute.

"By co-publishing the Economic Freedom of the World Report in the Slovene language, the Visio Institut has facilitated and spurred public debates on which economic freedoms are denied in Slovenia, to what degree are these freedoms denied, and who is denying them to the people,” said Tanja Porčnik, president of Visio Institut. “[The results of] three annual EFW reports being published in the Slovene language include observing a better awareness of the level of economic freedom in Slovenia among decision-makers, journalists, opinion-makers, academics, entrepreneurs, and others, as well as their acceptance of essential connections between higher economic freedom and higher economic growth, higher per-capita income, more foreign direct investments, lower levels of poverty, and higher gender equality."

With a 7.00 out of 10 rating for economic freedom, Slovenia currently ranks 73rd of 159 nations on the Economic Freedom of the World Report. This score is based on an amalgamation of multiple measures of economic freedom, such as inflation, tariffs, minimum wage, and other barriers to entry which may affect entrepreneurship. Five categories are listed, each with individual subcategories: size of government, legal system and property rights, sound money, free trade, and regulation. In certain areas, such as sound money, Slovenia scored exceptionally well – this likely has to do with Slovenia’s status as a member of the European Union, which lends some stability to currency, particularly in small states. However, there are areas needing improvement.

"For the Slovenes to be freer, the government should primarily strengthen rule of law by enhancing judicial independence and impartiality, privatizing the state-owned bank Nova Ljubljanska Banka, removing unnecessary administrative requirements for businesses, and abolishing the minimum wage,” Porčnik continued.

Among the former states of Yugoslavia, Slovenia ranks relatively well in terms of economic freedom. While Croatia and Macedonia have a slight edge over Slovenia in the world rankings, these three former Yugoslav states hold a significant advantage over their neighbors due in part to improving economic policies and decreases in burdensome regulations. The other three former Yugoslav states on which data has been collected — Serbia, Montenegro, and Bosnia-Herzegovina — all rank in the second-lowest quartile, with Bosnia-Herzegovina being ranked among the lowest five eastern European and Caucasus  states (no data was available on Kosovo). This provides a useful comparison, and shows that the nations which have adopted more market-friendly policies have significantly improved their economic freedom ranking.

The Fraser Institute’s report ranks Hong Kong, Singapore, and New Zealand as the top three economically free nations, while the Congo, Central African Republic, and Venezuela occupy the last three places. Other highlights of the ranking include the United States at 11th overall, with a score of 7.94 of 10.00, Russia at 100th overall, tallying 6.60 points, and China at 112th, with a 6.40 score. The vast majority of nations in the first and second quartiles have stable, democratic governments, strong protections for property rights, and lower levels of government corruption. A fully developed economy is also not a prerequisite for economic freedom; some nations listed in the top quartile, such as Mauritius (7th overall), Georgia (8th overall), Armenia (29th overall), and Rwanda (31st overall), are by certain measures considered to be “least developed” or “developing” countries. As has been demonstrated by the rapid progress of many eastern European countries, including Slovenia, the freeing of economies has led to significant progress in development and poverty alleviation

Read the 2017 Economic Freedom of the World Report here.