Economic Freedom of the World: 1997 Annual Report

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This report is a continuation of an ongoing process designed to develop a comprehensive and accurate measure of economic freedom across countries. The roots of the project go back more than a decade.

Motivated by a stimulating discussion concerning the differences between political freedom and economic freedom, Michael Walker, the Executive Director of the Fraser Institute, organized a series of symposia focusing on the measurement of economic freedom.

Milton and Rose D. Friedman agreed to co-host the series with Michael Walker, and the Liberty Fund of Indianapolis, Indiana provided the necessary financial support. The series attracted some of the world's most talented economists and challenged them to help develop a reliable measure of economic freedom. The participants included Nobel Prize winners, Milton Friedman, Gary Becker, and Douglass North; development economist Peter Bauer; Sweden's Assar Lindbeck; and Sir Alan Walters. Alvin Rabushka of Stanford, Ronald Jones and Alan Stockman of the University of Rochester, Governor Ramon Diaz of the Central Bank of Uruguay, Steven Easton of Simon Fraser University, and Gerald Scully of the University of Texas at Dallas were among those presenting symposium papers that moved the process forward.


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