December, 2015

Economic Freedom Studies

A Survey
  • Joshua C. Hall

    Associate Professor, Department of Economics, West Virginia University
  • Dean Stansel

    Research Associate Professor, O'Neil Center for Global Markets and Freedom, Southern Methodist University
  • Danko Tarabar

    Assistant Professor of Economics, Winthrop University
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We synthesize and elaborate on the existing research concerning the role of the Economic Freedom of North America (EFNA) index. Our consensus after reading this literature is that the EFNA index is largely positively related with normatively good outcomes, and negatively related to normatively bad ones, with a few exceptions. The literature considers the EFNA index as a good proxy for institutional quality, regulatory environment, and business-related policies across North American states and provinces. In addition, a significant number of studies take interest in the EFNA as a variable to be explained by factors such as ideology, legal origins, and pro-market think tank spending. The literature on EFNA is still in its relative nascence, but is growing rapidly, and can provide a useful guide towards future policy changes leading into positive institutional transformations and hence better economic outcomes.