Talk:Economic Freedom of the World

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There is no data on Economy of Moldova?

Map of economic freedom[edit]

Criticism section POV[edit]

Most of the criticism section, rather than explain the criticism, rebuts it. This could possibly be subdivided or put in its own section, but as it stands the section is more of a point-counterpoint than a criticism section. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Meviin (talkcontribs) 00:55, 12 April 2007 (UTC).

NPOV states that the view of all sides should be represented. The section could be renamed to "Criticisms and arguments for". Having two separate sections will make it difficult to follow the debate.Ultramarine 01:54, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

My point was that all sides are not currently represented. In each paragraph of the criticism section, the first sentence is dedicated to the criticism and every following sentence is dedicated to why that criticism might be wrong. This sounds like one side being given "undue weight" and that only the general idea of the critics is being stated while more complete argumentation for the other side is being presented would indicate bias. There is not one single example given for the critics side, while there are many examples for the proponents' side. The arguments on the critics' side are presented as arguments, whereas the arguments on the proponents' side are presented as facts. Thus, this section is POV and in need of a rewrite. If anyone thinks that my arguments as to why this is POV are wrong, we can debate it out, but in the mean time I'll tag it as NPOV disputed. If noone has any objections, I will soon tag it as biased. Meviin 02:00, 20 May 2007 (UTC)

Ultra is misinformed. The criticism is the balance - to the rest of the article. However, there are instances of rebuttals elsewhere in the wiki. Besides, I will be editing in some Criticisms of the Criticisms of the Criticisms (that was a witticism).

For starters, the cite for the last line of the second paragraph is incorrectly attributed; the article in fact states the opposite.

Economic Freedom is a conjuring trick. Attributes of rich states other than the two obvious ones, economic wealth and high living standards, give high bonuses to the list of High Economic Freedom. Similarly fundamental yet less obvious attributes are used to subtract from the scores of poor, socialist, or communist countries. Then these obvious attributes, in this case economic wealth and high living standards, are waved in front of the punters to show that they are not part of any sleight of hand. Having given rich states high 'Economic Freedom' scores, the Heritage Foundation site then credits the reverse; they claim it is the Economic Freedom that makes them rich. In the case of the China article, the Heritage Foundation gave China a low score, with minuses for attributes related to it being nominally Communist. In their article, HF draws attention away from the fact that China is doing well economically, despite its low score. So they wave yet another distraction: China is growing fast because it is developing. This would simply be the truth, if it weren't for the fact that the only reason they are doing it is to cover up the magic trick. So, in fact, they said that China is growing, and never said it wouldn't. This is particularly irksome to me, because lies that they won't even print on their own website are printed here on Wiki. It is regrettable that in this latter case of the China article, I can offer no solid proof of this happening, only my assurance that it is the truth. Believe me or not as you will. But I have seen evidence of the variables used to compute the scores, and will retrieve those as soon as possible to add to the article. And of course the erroneous logic, that the concept of EF is proven by a high EF score linked to wealth, is there for all to see on the Heritage Foundation site. Another HF site.


The argument that economic freedom correlates with "higher life expectancy, higher literacy, lower infant mortality, higher access to water sources and less corruption" is empirically wrong. The social democracies and general EU states, as well as Canada, all have higher life expectancies and higher rates of literacy then the United States, even though the US is rated as economically more free. Likewise these listed outperform Hong Kong, the economically freest country, to an even higher degree. In fact, many of the least economically free in comparison to other developed nations listed (Denmark, Sweden, and Norway) have THE highest levels of life expectancy. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:44, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

You forget that the correlation is statistical. The few outlier data you cited are accounted for in the averages. The correlation is not "empirically wrong" just because of your small outlier samples. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:58, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

In fact, outliers are not necessarily random occurrences, they also indicate the possibility that the theory is unsound. They must occur at a low incidence, or the theory must be considered to blame. from Wiki: Outlier "In most larger samplings of data, some data points will be further away from the sample mean than what is deemed reasonable. This can be due to incidental systematic error or flaws in the theory that generated an assumed family of probability distributions, or it can simply be the case that some observations happen to be a long way from the center of the data. Outlier points can therefore indicate faulty data, erroneous procedures, or areas where a certain theory might not be valid. However, a small number of outliers not due to any anomalous condition is to be expected in large samples." In the case of a large number of supposed outliers, as "the social democracies and general EU states, as well as Canada" represents, the theory is indeed empirically wrong. Anarchangel (talk) 06:45, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

You also seem to not notice that 4 out of the 5 Nordic countries are in the top 25, and Canada is in the top ten. A large welfare state does not completely cancel out other factors in their rankings, such as ease of doing business and market Freedom (in which Denmark is ranked nummer et). Furthermore, life expectancies in the United States are going to be lower because of pervasive violence and unhealthy lifestyles, and our literacy rates are low because of the number of new immigrants who do not speak, much less read, English. Gtbob12 (talk) 17:56, 2 May 2010 (UTC)

I am highly sceptical about the statement: "Higher economic freedom is extremely significant in preventing wars. Economic freedom is around 54 times more effective than democracy (as measured by Democracy Score) in diminishing violent conflict" and the only source I found is the Anual report of efw. Is this a neutral quote? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:23, 4 March 2011 (UTC)

What is encyclopedic about "criticism"[edit]

Seriously,why is there a criticism section?If you want to bash economic freedom,you can do somewhere else mmkay?This has nothing to do with the article and should be deleted.'s not about "bashing economic freedom" or even criticizing economic freedom. It's about criticism of these specific politically-biased organizations' definitions of what constitutes "economic freedom". — Red XIV (talk) 08:00, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

I can converse, preferably for short periods, in gamer/1337-speak, and I will inform joo Red that 'mmkay?' is not an acceptable form of address for your fellow editors here in the real world. Desist or you shall be pwned. Nor is your concept of 'bashing' relevant here. QQ some more. If you have a chance to tear yourself away from fragging, try looking at some other pages: the ones with 'Criticism' written on them.
Whew! gives me a headache if I do it too much. Anarchangel (talk) 06:45, 24 September 2008 (UTC)


The topic of Criticism should not be deleted, as understanding the controversy is part of understanding the index. If you look up any philosophical or academic entry on Wikipedia, you will find a section regarding popular criticisms.

What is odd is that the "Criticism" section is piss poorly written. As stated above, it contains more rebuttles of critics rather than giving those critics a fair shake to make their arguments. This does not serve the interests of education, and thus, this section really needs a rewrite. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 09:45, 27 April 2007 (UTC).

You can't know that I don't know already, but trust me. I bet myself $20 in imaginary Fig Newtons that the author of the criticisms and the author of the rebuttals are the same person. The criticisms are written limply, and although the rebuttals are not written well either, they are written at greater length and with more substance, comparatively speaking. Anarchangel (talk) 06:45, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

Likewise the issue of how only the developed world is presented is not adequately addressed. The counter-critics argue that economic development is not taken into account directly, but that is irrelevant to the claim of sample bias. Likewise why isn't the issue of how certain economies, namely 4th world, have virtually no government regulations due to the fact that they do not have stable governments? Somalia for example has no institutions comparable to the FDA. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:52, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

Likewise there are multiple problems with the rebuttals of criticism. First, the criticism concerning how only first world nations are addressed does not negate the charge of biased sample even if monetary measures are not explicitly used.

Second, arguing that the free economic practices of the country are responsible for the economic growth is possibly post hoc. Likewise the issue of how the economies may have grown due to geography is not adequately taken into account, though geography has been proven to play a major role in the development of inequities between nations in such works as Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel

Third the reasoning in the statement: "Another criticism is that for example China, and more generally several other developing nations, have high growth rates but relatively low economic freedom. However, developing nations should generally have higher growth rates than developed nations, since, for example, they are catching up and do not need to research new technologies initially. China started with very high poverty and very low economic freedom. "To be sure, China's economic freedom measures just 54 percent in 2007. But 30 years ago in 1977, the measure would have been near zero. By quietly setting aside Maoist dogma in 1978, the introduction of property rights for small farmers by Deng Xiaopeng initiated a revolution in economic freedom. As Milton Friedman anticipated, this small infusion had dramatic and positive effects. Within a few years, the Communist Party was promoting the slogan 'It is glorious to be rich.' Looking back, China's economic freedom has grown by 1 or 2 percentage points every year for 30 years, and the economy grew along with it: a growth-growth relationship." Chinese growth may slow if the reforms do not continue.[11]"

Does not address the issue that as a "developing nation" China has an atypically high rate of growth. Why is it China has a higher rate of growth then say India, or Pakistan, even though China is an explicitly socialist state? Remember the comparison was between developing nations among themselves, not developing nations vs. developed nations.

Fourth, simply noting that the researchers are biased towards capitalism is not an ad hominem but an accusation of publication bias and possible selection bias.

Last, the issue of why Somalia, and other Third and Forth world nations are not considered "economically free" despite the fact that government regulation is virtually absent likewise is not examined or discussed. One would think, that if economic freedom correlated with economic growth that nations without a functional government (and thereby no basis for regulation or public ownership) would be the most free. The argument then that capitalism, or free trade, requires the existence of multiple public/government institutions, and hence economic infrastructure, for maintenance thus negates many laissez-faire claims. It shows that far from being independent of government, systems of trade are highly dependent on the existence of government institutions such as courts, laws, police, military, and inherited technological advancement. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:40, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

The first point above is difficult to understand. Please explain your allegation of biased sample. Where is the bias?

The second point about geography makes sense, and I hope somebody does more research on this. My hunch is that even if geography is considered, the data can support the unmistakable correlation between economic freedom and well-being of a country's citizens.

On the third point, why China has a higher rate of growth than India or Pakistan is in fact explained by the whole paragraph in question: China started very low and had to catch up by a lot more than either India or Pakistan. May be you are confusing RATE of growth with absolute measure of growth in terms of, say, GNP? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:52, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
1. Any other related variable with a correlation to wealth and conservatism could be, and in fact is, used to achieve a one-to-one correlation between EF and wealth+conservatism.
2. Try out your hunches then: Between 1980's USSR, with 75% of its landmass north of the Canadian border, and the US, 100% south of that border, which do you think had 10% GDP of the other, but only 1% of the national debt of the other? Trick Question. Actually it was the USSR that pulled off this feat of frugal solvency. According to EF, even if the tundra didn't slow them down, then low EF would have. So much for EF.
3. On this site, and on the Heritage Foundation site, and in your answer, it is inferred that China's growth by means of saving R&D money does not disprove EF. However, it is a no brainer that had EF accounted for this variable, then China's EF would have risen as quickly as its real wealth, and therefore EF is deficient in this respect. The Heritage Foundation, with considerably more finesse, also attempts to obfuscate the fact that China's growth tends to -disprove- EF, but it's only factual claim is that growth rate is enhanced by not having to Research and Develop new technologies, merely adopt existing ones. Similarly, only on this page is it claimed that China's growth will slow if it does not continue adopting new economic reforms. Someone got a bit overzealous; I will be erasing both the claim and its link.
4. Deleting a debate in progress is a serious breach. And accusing someone of a red herring, as a red herring, is, among more important things, just lazy. En Garde. Anarchangel (talk) 06:45, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

As for China's case, although it had and still has a relatively high growth rate in terms of GDP, China's low score can be attributed to various other factors. China's poor legal system and lack of upholding property rights are major contributors to its low score. Ever try getting a bank loan in China? It's fairly common to have to initially bribe the lenders in order to get the loan. While improving, China's stock market does not operate with the same degree of "fairness" and transperancy as the ones in countries higher on this list [though I suppose even that is a problem in those nations too]. China's currency, the yuan, is artificially devalued, which is not considered "economically free"- thus again that knocks some more "points" off in this ranking. Also, this list differentiates between Hong Kong and mainland China- if they were combined, China's score would go up. Ultimately, don't think of these scores as correlated to the rate of GDP growth, but more so the projected future rate of the rate of GDP growth (second derivative, my friends). - AOK

"Last, the issue of why Somalia, and other Third and Forth world nations are not considered "economically free" despite the fact that government regulation is virtually absent likewise is not examined or discussed." One of the criteria is the protection of private property rights, which a country with no functional government obviously does not have. Gtbob12 (talk) 18:45, 2 May 2010 (UTC)

NPOV removed[edit]

I've tweaked the section a bit, and removed the NPOV tag as its normal to have rebuttals in a criticism section. Indeed Guns, Germs and Steel crossed my mind as well, but that speaks to past wealth inequality rather than modern economic development. Accordingly Taiwan was very poor until recently, now the past limitations of trade and investment no longer apply. They can leverage and then manufacture technology without needing to create it themselves. Use {{POV-statement}} for sentences, then detail issues here. This will help address them in a timely manner. - RoyBoy 23:00, 4 December 2011 (UTC)

Question regarding map[edit]

On this map, European Turkey is colored as 70-80% free, yet Asian Turkey is 50-59% free... Which is it? Tomertalk 08:09, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

Devil's Advocate Says: "The fact that the Asian side has a lower EF proves that it is closer to China and Vietnam, so it is less free. Which proves that EF works, because it predicted that". But seriously, if your post is rhetorical, then good, but if you're looking for facts, try elsewhere. I am only here for the target-rich environment. Anarchangel (talk) 06:45, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

new 2007 rankings[edit]

Fraser Institute has new rankings: —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:43, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

Current Ratings Error[edit]

I think someone accidentally put the "Index of Economic Freedom 2008" here instead of "Economic Freedom of the World"... (talk) 15:45, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

Dead link[edit]

Under "Research" there's a dead link to "An overview of research can be found here" FredrikMeyer (talk) 22:52, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

Slow down![edit]

I'm sure this article needs attention, and some of the recent changes may be improvements, but the changes are coming fast and look very heavy-handed. I'm leaning toward reverting to yesterday's version so the changes can be discussed carefully a bit at a time... CRETOG8(t/c) 02:06, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

OK, they kept coming, so I did a rollback, and can try to discuss them here. CRETOG8(t/c) 02:16, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
I doubt you're new here, but in case you are, don't worry the edits you did are all still accessible. I'm kid- wrangling at the moment so my ability to discuss in-depth will be slower than your ability to write. Sorry about that. CRETOG8(t/c) 02:17, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

Alright, trying to look at some of the specifics:

  • This edit added something referenced to an article which doesn't mention the EFW, so it's WP:SYNTH. Also, I'm not sure that James Pyland or the Online Journal would be considered a reliable source (they may be, just not sure). Even if he/they are so considered, it's an opinion piece which should be presented as such.
  • These edits ([1], [2] remove material which is unreferenced, but also shouldn't be contentious.
  • This and this question and then remove a very relevant bit about the EFW which comes directly from the article cited.
  • Rather than "absurd WP:SYNTH", the material removed in this edit comes directly from the cited source.
  • This edit removed a good bit of referenced material. I expect that the material should be rephrased. Over at the Economic freedom article, much material was rephrased to say things like "the index correlates with ..." rather than "economic freedom correlates with ...". Material which comes directly from advocacy groups like Faser or Cato should be treated differently than that which comes directly from academic journals, but some of the material they present actually does come from academic journals.
  • This edit refers to "selfpub", but since the Fraser institute is the creator/publisher of the EFW, most material from them, which isn't patently irrelevant to the article, should be allowed.
  • This edit removes material which isn't adequately referenced. I agree with you on this one until references are provided.
  • This removed relevant external links.
  • These tags are unnecessary, as referenced material answers them, and so this removal is also unneeded.
  • This edit reads as very WP:POV.

Given all of the above, I think the place to start is back with the earlier version, and proceed more slowly from there. CRETOG8(t/c) 03:30, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

Wrong data set?[edit]

Section '2010 Annual Report' refers to reference 17 as "Summary Economic Freedom Ratings for 2010[17]"

However, reference 17 is a link to the 2012 rankings (which use numbers from 2010, likely resulting in the confusion.) The rankings on the article page are outdated. Note that on the Wikipedia article the US is tied for 4th place; in the most recent 2012 report the US has dropped to 18th. See page 10 of — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:43, 25 March 2013 (UTC)