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Economic Freedom and the Environment for Economic Growth

James Gwartney, Robert Lawson () and Randall Holcombe

Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), 1999, vol. 155, issue 4, 643-

Abstract: Modern growth theory, built on the foundation of Solow [1956], emphasizes growth in inputs and technological advances as the underlying causes of economic growth. More recent work has emphasized the importance of market institutions and economic freedom as prerequisites for growth. This paper empirically examines the importance of economic freedom by using an index that measures economic freedom in four basic areas - money and inflation, economic structure, takings and discriminatory taxation, and international trade. The empirical results show that economic freedom is a significant determinant of economic growth, even when human and physical capital, and demographics are taken into account. (JEL: O 40)

Date: 1999
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