EFNA in Action and in the News

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Fraser Insight, July 2022

The Fraser Institute’s Economic Freedom of North America (EFNA) report is getting lots of press and lots of traction with policymakers—all thanks to our growing EFNA Network, which now enfolds 58 members in 47 states/territories, Canada and Mexico.

Here are some highlights of how members of the EFNA Network are using the EFNA report in their research, discussing EFNA findings in legislative testimony, and citing EFNA in articles, essays and blogs.

Several EFNA Network partners are using EFNA research in tools geared toward educating citizens in their states.

In Ohio, for example, the Buckeye Institute creates EFNA factsheets each year tracking Ohio’s progress and comparing Ohio with its neighbors.

In New Hampshire, the Josiah Bartlett Center drills down into the data to compare top-ranked New Hampshire with its neighbors and the rest of the country. The Center of the American Experiment in Minnesota offers a similar comparison.

The Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) has developed an info-brief comparing and contrasting Texas with other large-population states.

The Arkansas Center for Research in Economics has created an online citizen’s guide for understanding economic freedom.

Other EFNA Network partners have incorporated EFNA findings into initiatives focused on their states and regions. In Indiana, for example, the Sagamore Institute used EFNA data in a report and ongoing companion initiative that seeks to measure the state’s overall wellbeing.

In Michigan, the Mackinac Center leaned on EFNA data to examine labor issues, especially the impact of right-to-work laws.

In North Carolina, scholars with Western Carolina University’s Center for the Study of Free Enterprise (CSFE) relied on EFNA data for a study on Covid-19, economic freedom and economic recovery. CSFE scholars are using that study and EFNA rankings to challenge state lawmakers to live up to their own pro-growth rhetoric and to draw sharp contrasts with neighboring states.

The John Locke Foundation, also based in North Carolina, has created a stand-alone web resource that plots the state’s progress in the EFNA rankings and answers the question, “How free is North Carolina’s economy?”

In Kentucky, the Pegasus Institute has created online resources comparing the Bluegrass State with neighboring states. Pegasus also has used EFNA data in info-graphs that are distributed to state lawmakers during testimony focused on labor-force issues.

That brings us to the EFNA Network’s use of the report in legislative outreach. Our partner in Puerto Rico—the Instituto de Libertad Económica Para Puerto Rico (ILE)—cited EFNA research in recent testimony before the Senate of Puerto Rico. ILE also is launching an initiative that will use EFNA and other indices to review laws and regulations that might be hindering business in Puerto Rico.

The already-referenced Josiah Bartlett Center keeps New Hampshire lawmakers informed on the state’s EFNA standing, with Governor Chris Sununu and state legislators citing the EFNA rankings.

Likewise, TPPF makes regular use of EFNA data in testimony before Texas lawmakers. Texas Governor Greg Abbott is even known to cite TPPF’s EFNA-related work.

These recent EFNA mentions by state-level policymakers come on the heels of earlier EFNA mentions by federal lawmakers in the Economic Report of the President of the United States, in reports from the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress and on the floor of the U.S. Senate.

In the nine months since publication of EFNA 2021, the EFNA Network has already generated 88 media placements across 25 states/territories and multiple national outlets, including Real Clear Policy, American Business Review, The Hill and Forbes. EFNA is even being employed by research institutes not affiliated with the EFNA Network: Researchers in Tennessee and Wisconsin have used the report on studies examining state and regional economic challenges, while the Center for Freedom and Prosperity is using EFNA for comparative analysis.

All told, the report has been cited by hundreds of media outlets and policy organizations in 42 states since 2014—the year the EFNA Network was launched. That represents an exponential increase in the reach of EFNA’s message of individual liberty—and that’s evidence of the EFNA Network in action.

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