Economic freedom

Economic freedom, or economic liberty, is the ability of people of a society to take economic actions. This is a term used in economic and policy debates as well as in the philosophy of economics.[1][2] One approach to economic freedom comes from the liberal tradition emphasizing free markets, free trade, and private property under free enterprise. Another approach to economic freedom extends the welfare economics study of individual choice, with greater economic freedom coming from a larger set of possible choices.[3] Other conceptions of economic freedom include freedom from want[1][4] and the freedom to engage in collective bargaining.[5]

The liberal free-market viewpoint defines economic liberty as the freedom to produce, trade and consume any goods and services acquired without the use of force, fraud, theft or government regulation. This is embodied in the rule of law, property rights and freedom of contract, and characterized by external and internal openness of the markets, the protection of property rights and freedom of economic initiative.[3][6][7] There are several indices of economic freedom that attempt to measure free market economic freedom. Based on these rankings, correlative studies have found higher economic growth to be correlated with higher scores on the country rankings.[8][citation needed] With regards to other measures such as equality, corruption, political and social violence and their correlation to economic freedom, it has been argued that the economic freedom indices conflate unrelated policies and policy outcomes to conceal negative correlations between economic growth and economic freedom in some subcomponents.[9]