Study: More economic freedom equals less pollution and income inequality

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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As you might have heard, the Fraser Institute’s annual “Economic Freedom of the World Report” ranks the United States as the 18th freest country in the world. That sad ranking got the early headlines, but an equally interesting story is how more economic freedom seems to correlate with a lot of other surprising and positive outcomes.

Over at U.S. News & World Report, James R. Harrigan, a fellow of the Institute of Political Economy at Utah State University, and Antony Davies, an associate professor of economics at Duquesne University, have penned a column demonstrating why even liberals might want to support economic freedom.

As they note,

The least free countries experience nearly three times the air pollution of the most free countries, and the least free countries experience five times the amount of CO2 emissions per GDP than the most free.

But it’s not just pollution.

It turns out that,

Countries with more economic freedom have more gender equality and less income inequality. And this isn’t because rich countries tend to be both more free and more equal. Even among the poorest countries, those with more economic freedom enjoy more equality.

You can read the whole thing here (and check out the full infographic.)

Matt K. Lewis