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Media Release: Economic Freedom Suffers A Setback In Pakistan

Pakistan’s ranking downed from 110 to 118 with score lowering from 5.95 to 5.80
Lack of Economic Freedom major cause of homicide, unemployment
Recession caused global decrease in Economic Freedom
Pakistan far behind from India’s rank at 87, and Rwanda’s at 90
Sri Lanka, Bangladesh perform better at 111, 113

Lahore September 20, 2010: This year’s report, released today in Pakistan by the Alternate Solutions Institute, shows that economic freedom experienced its first global downturn in a quarter century, with the average score falling to 6.67 in 2008 (the most recent year for which data is available) from 6.74 in 2007. Of the 123 countries with economic freedom rankings dating back to 1980, 88 (71.5 per cent) saw their rankings decrease while only 35 (28.5 per cent) recorded increases.



 
Pakistan’s ranking downed from 110 to 118 with score lowering from 5.95 to 5.80
Lack of Economic Freedom major cause of homicide, unemployment
Recession caused global decrease in Economic Freedom
Pakistan far behind from India’s rank at 87, and Rwanda’s at 90
Sri Lanka, Bangladesh perform better at 111, 113
 
Lahore September 20, 2010: This year’s report, released today in Pakistan by the Alternate Solutions Institute, shows that economic freedom experienced its first global downturn in a quarter century, with the average score falling to 6.67 in 2008 (the most recent year for which data is available) from 6.74 in 2007. Of the 123 countries with economic freedom rankings dating back to 1980, 88 (71.5 per cent) saw their rankings decrease while only 35 (28.5 per cent) recorded increases.
 
Pakistan ranked 118 out of 141 countries this year, while its last year’s ranking stood at 110. As compared to its score of 5.95 in 2009, this year its score fell to 5.80. The areas that caused a decline in Pakistan’s overall performance are: legal structure and security of property rights; access to sound money; freedom to trade internationally; and Regulation of Credit, Labor, and Business. The only area where Pakistan improved substantially is: size of government with its score (rank) going up from 7.14 (40) to 7.71 (21).  
 
Pakistan’s score and rank in 5 key areas of economic freedom (from 1 to 10, where a higher value indicates a higher level of economic freedom and a higher ranking a lower level of economic freedom) as follows:
 
•          Size of government: improved from 7.14 (40) to 7.71 (21)
•          Legal structures and security of property rights: lowered from 4.70 (91) to 
            4.58 (92)                     
•          Access to sound money: lowered from 6.26 (110) to 5.40 (118)
•          Freedom to trade internationally: lowered from 5.47 (106) to 5.35 (106)
•          Regulation of credit, labour and business: lowered from 6.37 (73) to 6.12 (89)
 
The Report shows that individuals living in countries with high levels of economic freedom enjoy higher levels of prosperity, greater individual freedoms, and longer life spans. This year’s report also contains new research showing the impact of economic freedom on the rates of unemployment and homicide: increases in economic freedom do appear to be associated with decrease in homicide and unemployment rates.
 
The Report also shows that countries with more economic freedom have substantially higher per-capita incomes, higher growth rates. Life expectancy is about 20 years longer in freer countries. People living in countries with more economic freedom report more life satisfaction. With fewer regulations, taxes, and tariffs, economic freedom reduces the degree of corruption. (Continued on P.2)
 
The annual peer-reviewed Economic Freedom of the World report is produced by the Fraser Institute, Canada’s leading public policy think-tank, in cooperation with independent institutes in 80 nations and territories, including the Alternate Solutions Institute from Pakistan. 
 
The Economic Freedom of the World Report uses 42 different measures to create an index ranking countries around the world based on policies that encourage economic freedom. The cornerstones of economic freedom are personal choice, voluntary exchange, freedom to compete, and security of private property. Economic freedom is measured in five different areas: (1) size of government, (2) legal structure and security of property rights, (3) access to sound money, (4) freedom to trade internationally, and (5) regulation of credit, labor, and business.
 
The full report is available at www.freetheworld.com and www.asinstitute.org.
Download the Report (PDF)
 
International rankings
 
Hong Kong maintains the highest level of economic freedom worldwide, with a score of 9.05 out of 10. The other top scorers are Singapore (8.70), New Zealand (8.27), Switzerland (8.08), Chile (8.03), the United States (7.96), Canada (7.95), Australia (7.90), Mauritius (7.82), and the United Kingdom (7.81).
 
Zimbabwe maintains the lowest level of economic freedom among the 141 jurisdictions analyzed, followed by Myanmar, Angola, and Venezuela.
 
Several countries have improved their relative levels of economic freedom over the past three decades: Ghana climbing to a score of 7.17 from 3.27 in 1980; Uganda to 7.15 from 3.42; Peru to 7.36 from 4.27; Israel to 6.86 from 3.79; and Turkey to 6.91 from 3.95.
 
Over the same period, economic freedom has regressed in many other countries: Venezuela fell to 4.35 in 2008 from a score of 6.29 in 1980; Zimbabwe to 3.57 from 4.93; Myanmar to 3.49 from 4.84; Malaysia to 6.71 from 7.07; and Nepal to 5.44 from 5.75.
 
About the Economic Freedom Index
 
Economic Freedom of the World measures the degree to which the policies and institutions of countries are supportive of economic freedom. The 2010 report was prepared by James Gwartney, Gus A. Stavros Eminent Scholar Chair at Florida State University; Robert A. Lawson, Auburn University; and Joshua Hall, Beloit College. This year’s publication ranks 141 nations representing 95% of the world’s population for 2008, the most recent year for which data is available.
 
For more information on the Economic Freedom Network, data sets, and previous Economic Freedom of the World reports, visit www.freetheworld.com
 
Or contact the Alternate Solutions Institute at info@asinstitute.org


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