Dean Stansel

Research Associate Professor, Cox School of Business, Southern Methodist University

Dean Stansel is a Research Associate Professor at the Bridwell Institute for Economic Freedom in the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University. He earned his B.A. in economics (with honors) and politics from Wake Forest University and his M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from George Mason University. Before entering academia, Prof. Stansel worked for seven years at the Cato Institute, a public-policy research organization in Washington, D.C., where he produced over 60 publications on fiscal policy issues. In addition to his work on Economic Freedom of North America, he is sole author of the Reason Foundation’s U.S. Metropolitan Area Economic Freedom Index, as well as the author of numerous academic journal articles on a variety of issues in public finance and urban economics. Prof. Stansel’s research has been discussed in many publications including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and Atlanta Journal-Constitution; and his commentaries have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Investor’s Business Daily, Chicago Tribune, and Dallas Morning News, among others.

Recent Research by Dean Stansel

— Nov 7, 2019
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Economic Freedom of North America 2019

Economic Freedom of North America 2019 finds that New Hampshire has reclaimed its status as the most economically free state in the U.S., having scored 7.93 out of 10 in this year’s report, which measures government spending, taxation and labour market restrictions. Rounding out the top five freest states are Florida (2nd), Tennessee (3rd), Virginia (4th) and Texas (5th). For the fifth year in a row, New York was ranked the least free (50th), followed by West Virginia (49th), Alaska (48th), Vermont (47th) and Oregon (46th).

— Oct 30, 2018
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Economic Freedom of North America 2018 finds that Florida has overtaken New Hampshire as the most economically free state in the U.S., having scored 7.87 out of 10 in this year’s report, which measures government spending, taxation and labour market restrictions. Rounding out the top five freest states are Texas (3rd), Tennessee (4th) and South Dakota (5th). For the fourth year in a row, New York was ranked least free (50th), followed by Kentucky (49th), West Virginia (48th), California (47th) and Alaska (46th).

— Dec 14, 2017
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Economic Freedom of North America 2017

Economic Freedom of North America 2017 finds that New Hampshire—the Live Free or Die state—has the highest level of economic freedom among all U.S. states for the third year in a row, scoring 8.3 out of 10 in this year’s report, which measures government spending, taxation and labour market restrictions. Florida, Texas, South Dakota and Tennessee round out the top five freest states. For the third year in a row New York was the least-free state in the country at 50th, and California ranked 49th.