Economic Freedom of North America: 2004 Annual Report

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This is the second edition of the annual report, Economic Freedom of North America . The statistical results of this year's study persuasively confirm those published last year: economic freedom is a powerful driver of growth and prosperity and those provinces and states that have low levels of economic freedom continue to leave their citizens poorer than they need or should be.

Economic Freedom of North America presents the first comprehensive economic freedom ratings for US states and Canadian provinces. The study rates economic freedom on a 10-point scale for two indexes, An all-government index captures the impact of restrictions on freedom by all levels of government. A subnational index captures the impact of restrictions by state or provincial and local governments. Economic Freedom of North America employs 10 variables in three areas:

  1. Size of Government;
  2. Takings and Discriminatory Taxation;
  3. Labor Market Freedom.

This year's report adds a new variable to Area 3: Labor Market Freedom that is designed to measure how much policy affects workers' freedom to join, or not to join, union. This variable is discussed in the main body of the report and its appendixes.

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