This is the eighth report on economic freedom in the Arab world. The first was published in the Arab World Competitiveness Report 2005 (Lopez-Claros and Schwab, 2005). The second and subsequent editions were published by the International Research Foundation (IRF) of Oman and the Fraser Institute. In 2008, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty, Cairo office, also became a co-publisher.
The index in this edition adds data for 2009, the most recent year for which data are available. As well, the scores for previous years have been re-calculated using revised data from the World Bank for its Doing Business and World Development Indicators databases. Economic Freedom of the Arab World is modeled on the annual reports in the series, Economic Freedom of the World (Gwartney and Lawson, 2004–2009; Gwartney, Hall, and Lawson, 2010; Gwartney, Lawson, and Hall, 2011).
The index published in Economic Freedom of the World: 2011 Annual Report (Gwartney, Lawson, and Hall, 2011) uses 42 components in five areas. Because underlying data for some of the components used in the world index were not broadly available for the Arab world, they were replaced by similar components with broader coverage of the Arab world. The index published in Economic Freedom of the Arab World: 2011 Annual Report includes the same five areas as Economic Freedom of the World but has 39 components. The score for each of the five areas is derived by averaging the components within that area. The most recent data available for this report are from 2009.
The five areas are: 1) Size of Government: Expenditures, Taxes and Enterprises; 2) Commercial and Economic Law and Security of Property Rights; 3) Access to Sound Money; 4) Freedom to Trade Internationally; 5) Regulation of Credit, Labor, and Business.