(p. A13) . . . the evidence is piling up that neither government nor multilateral spending on education and infrastructure are key to development. To move out of poverty, countries instead need fast growth; and to get that they need to unleash the animal spirits of entrepreneurs.
Empirical support for this view is presented again this year in The Heritage Foundation/The Wall Street Journal Index of Economic Freedom, released today. In its 14th edition, the annual survey grades countries on a combination of factors including property rights protection, tax rates, government intervention in the economy, monetary, fiscal and trade policy, and business freedom.
The nearby table shows the 2008 rankings but doesn’t tell the whole story. The Index also reports that the freest 20% of the world’s economies have twice the per capita income of those in the second quintile and five times that of the least-free 20%. In other words, freedom and prosperity are highly correlated.
For the full commentary, see:
(Note: ellipsis added.)
Source of table: online version of the WSJ article quoted and cited above.