Thursday, September 20th 2012 - 06:00 UTC

Chile and Peru, countries with the highest economic freedom score in Latam

Latin America shows a huge diversity regarding economic freedom with Chile (10) and Peru (24) among the top ranked 25 countries and another four, Bolivia, Ecuador, Argentina and Venezuela at the other end according to the latest report on Global Economic Freedom.

Professor Gwartney: Global economic freedom bounced back slightly in this year's report.

Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Switzerland and Australia are the countries which enjoy the greatest economic freedom in the world, while Angola, Congo, Zimbabwe and Burma occupy the three last positions in this year’s report.

Hong Kong scores 8.90 out of 10 (down slightly from 9.01 last year). The rest of this year's top scores are Singapore, 8.69; New Zealand, 8.36; Switzerland, 8.24; Australia, 7.97; Canada, 7.97; Bahrain, 7.94; Mauritius, 7.90; Finland, 7.88 and Chile, 7.84. Bahrain and Finland are new to the top 10 — replacing, notably, the United Kingdom (fell to 12th) and the United States (a sizable drop to 18th).

“Global economic freedom bounced back slightly in this year's report. After falling for two consecutive years following a long trend of increases, the average score rose from 6.79 in 2009 to 6.83 in 2010 (in a scale from 1 to 10), the most recent year for which data is available”, said James Gwartney, Economics professor at Florida’s State university and co-author of the report presented this week in Washington.

The United States, long considered the standard bearer for economic freedom among large industrial nations, has experienced a substantial decline in economic freedom during the past decade.

From 1980 to 2000, the United States was generally rated the third freest economy in the world, ranking behind only Hong Kong and Singapore. After increasing steadily during the period from 1980 to 2000, the chain linked EFW rating of the United States fell from 8.65 in 2000 to 8.21 in 2005 and 7.70 in 2010.

The chain-linked ranking of the United States has fallen precipitously from second in 2000 to eighth in 2005 and 19th in 2010 (unadjusted ranking of 18th) and now stands behind such countries as Denmark, Ireland, Estonia and Finland.

Nations in the top quartile of economic freedom had an average per-capita GDP of 37.691 dollars in 2010, compared to 5.188 for bottom quartile nations in 2010 current international dollars. In the top quartile, the average income of the poorest 10% was 11,382, compared to 1,209 in the bottom in 2010 current international dollars. Interestingly, the average income of the poorest 10% in the most economically free nations is more than twice the overall average income in the least free nations.

Life expectancy is 79.5 years in the top quartile compared to 61.6 years in the bottom quartile and political and civil liberties are considerably higher in economically free nations than in un-free nations.

The rankings (and scores) of other large economies in this year's index are Japan, 20th (7.64); Germany, 31st (7.52); France, 47th (7.32); Italy, 83rd (6.77); Mexico, 91st, (6.66); Russia, 95th (6.56); Brazil, 105th (6.37); China, 107th (6.35); India, 111th (6.26) and Argentina 127.

The first Economic Freedom of the World Report, published in 1996, was the result of a decade of research by a team which included several Nobel Laureates and over 60 other leading scholars in a broad range of fields, from economics to political science, and from law to philosophy. This is the 16th edition of Economic Freedom of the World and this year's publication ranks 144 nations for 2010, the most recent year for which data are available.

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1 brucey-babe (#) Sep 20th, 2012 - 10:18 am Report abuse
Chile at the top, Argentina at the bottom ( That`s where the crap comes from ! )
2 vestias (#) Sep 20th, 2012 - 10:50 am Report abuse
América Latina esta a ganhar terreno na sua liberdade de ecónomia em relação á europa porque a europa tem muitos politicos autoritários a América Latina á mais democracia entre as classes politicas e o desenho está á vista de todos
3 Condorito (#) Sep 20th, 2012 - 01:25 pm Report abuse
It is almost embarrassing that we keep coming top of these international rankings.

...and well done Peru for the massive improvement.
You have copied our model and are now starting to see the benefits.
Keep the faith. The future is for the free Peruvian brothers.
Sube a nacer conmigo hermano Peruano!
Dame la mano desde la profunda zona
De tu dolor diseminado.
No volverás...del fondo de las rocas.
No volverás...del tiempo subterráneo.
No volverá... tu voz endurecida.
No volverán... tus ojos taladrados.
Sube a nacer conmigo hermano...
4 GeoffWard2 (#) Sep 20th, 2012 - 01:44 pm Report abuse
Can anyone get a feel from this as to whether left wing or right wing governments provide the greater 'economic freedom'.
5 ProRG_American (#) Sep 20th, 2012 - 03:38 pm Report abuse
Then why are there so many Chileans and Peruvians living and studying in Argentina? Just to show you how far from reality this article is.
6 Condorito (#) Sep 20th, 2012 - 03:56 pm Report abuse
I could ask you the same:
Why are there so many Peruvians and Argentineans in Chile?

As Peru gets wealthier, fewer are coming here and many will return home.
In contrast there are more Argies looking for work in Chile every year. This will increase as Chile continues to grow and Argentina doesn’t.
7 Simon68 (#) Sep 20th, 2012 - 05:03 pm Report abuse
6 Condorito (#)
Sep 20th, 2012 - 03:56 pm

For the Chilean Independence Day celebrations here in our town, when an ex-colleague of mine was president of the Chilean resident's club, in the 90's there were 273 members, the other day there were 17 celebrating!!!
8 jakesnake (#) Sep 20th, 2012 - 06:29 pm Report abuse
@5 Dude, you're comment is lame and without merit. If you're going to make a generalized statement like that, at least back it up with some verifiable data. I can make a generalized statement as well....after I married a Chilean and spent quite a bit of time in the immigration office in Santiago near La Moneda, I can tell you it was chock full of Argentinians trying to immigrate to Chile. Or is it emigrate from Argentina? I'm not very bright and always get that mixed up.

If the point of your comment is that “Argentina's current situation is just as good as, if not better than, Chile's...”. That couldn't be further from the truth. Chile still has some enormous problems they need to overcome and it will take a long time (e.g. teen birth rate in las poblas), but they are doing a lot things right. One thing they need to continue to do is diversify their economy and not have 60% of their GDP tied to copper. But, Chile is on the right track.
9 ProRG_American (#) Sep 20th, 2012 - 06:34 pm Report abuse
Praxair bets on Argentina. Signaling further industrial and economic growth as seen from the perspective of the Ugest Industrial gas suppliers
10 mastershakejb (#) Sep 20th, 2012 - 07:02 pm Report abuse
There's no way Peru's economic freedom is higher than that of Uruguay. Sorry, but I've traveled extensively through both, and sometimes I don't know what the people who make these ratings are smoking. I agree that Chile should be pretty much tied with Uruguay for the top, and that Argentina should be at the very bottom though, that I agree with totally.
11 Sergio Vega (#) Sep 20th, 2012 - 07:53 pm Report abuse
The top position that Chile has in economics freedom and success has not been gifted at all....!!! It was won with the scrifice of many Chileans that spent a long time with their belts locked in the last hole with low employement level, very low salaries and benefits, but with effort, perseverance and good leadership we could raise from a poor country bust by the red communist hordes to a success country, example for the world, so strong that despite of 20 years leftist Gvts. where they wasted massive amounts of funds and applied regresive policies, we keep a place into the top ten ecnomic freest countries, have a membership into the OCDE and contiune growing at the highest world´s rates from 2010 even suffering a hughe hearthquake......
No one of those top ranked countries are governed by left wing parties as the Latam countries use to know and that is a benchmark of successful and how a country must choose their economic and social policies to give their people the posibility to reach the cherised development....very different the way others Latam countries are doing, so they are the bottom ten of the list....
12 Condorito (#) Sep 20th, 2012 - 08:10 pm Report abuse
@10 JB
This ranking is about economic freedom, not about gdp/head or other measure of wealth. The metrics are not the kind of thing you would notice whilst extensively travelling - they are the kind of thing you would notice whilst running a business, for example.

The idea is that countries with more economic freedom are either already wealthy or going up in the world; those that score lowly are either poor or getting poorer.
13 mastershakejb (#) Sep 20th, 2012 - 08:23 pm Report abuse
lol, Condorito weon, this is the kind of thing I notice while traveling. I live in each country for months at a time. I know more about Peru and Uruguay than you do, and I've traveled more through Chile than you have. I traveled from Puerto Natales to Arica, every inch of Chile I know.
I know Latin politics better than most experts in the area. I get the feeling you and Sergio are the same user, but I could be wrong. I'm very aware of the price Chile paid to attain its current level. Also, it's inaccurate to say that none of the countries at the top are run by leftists govs, in fact many of them listed currently are headed by what are considered that country's form of left.
Left or right, doesn't really matter, what matters is how pragmatically they run the country, and that they don't get extremist. It also matters what kind of resources they have, and what the mentality of the people is. Chileans very much understand that they have to work, this was instilled in them during the Pinochet era. Argentines, on the other hand, don't really want to work and want to blame everyone else for their problems. Uruguayans aren't big on working either really.....but they don't blame anyone, and they behave themselves a lot more. Most peruvians have to work just to scrounge by.
14 Condorito (#) Sep 20th, 2012 - 09:18 pm Report abuse
“this is the kind of thing I notice while traveling”
You must have great fun travelling.
15 mastershakejb (#) Sep 20th, 2012 - 11:10 pm Report abuse
lol, don't be jealous of my ability to travel the world :P
16 Simon68 (#) Sep 21st, 2012 - 12:50 pm Report abuse
13 mastershakejb (#)
Sep 20th, 2012 - 08:23 pm

I think you're wrong about Chileans learning the need to work during the Pinochet years, Chileans have always been great workers, it comes naturaly to them just the same as their patriotism!!!!
17 Condorito (#) Sep 21st, 2012 - 03:47 pm Report abuse
I was going to say that, but I realised it was pointless getting in a discussion on the subject with someone who studies labour market regulations whilst travelling, yet isn't astute enough to realise that I am not Sergio....
18 mastershakejb (#) Sep 21st, 2012 - 08:05 pm Report abuse
lol, Condorito STILL jealous of my ability to travel his own country more than he can, and I do this for every country in the world. Poverty eh? Sucks to be you ;)
19 Condorito (#) Sep 21st, 2012 - 10:32 pm Report abuse
I can’t be jealous of something I know nothing about and I know nothing about how much or how little you travel.

However, I am amused that you assume that I am not widely travelled.

But not to worry amigo patiperro, there is hope for you yet, as Mark Twain said “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness” – so don’t stop travelling.
20 mastershakejb (#) Sep 21st, 2012 - 11:02 pm Report abuse
Guarantee I travel far, far more than you, and am far, far wealthier ;) and we both know it. Stop bein so jealous, its not becoming.
21 HaveToCorrectThisRetard (#) Sep 21st, 2012 - 11:08 pm Report abuse
Careful Condorito, your jealousy is startin to make you sound like an Argie. Argie level jealousy.
22 The Chilean perspective (#) Sep 22nd, 2012 - 11:26 am Report abuse
@ 8 jakesnake
Sorry pal but just a quick correction. Copper mining in Chile only accounts for 13.5% of Gross domestic product by sector of the economy. I think you must've meant % of total exports. This figure is 42.49% of total exports.
The GDP is made up of all the economic activity this is why it is a smaller number in comparison to total exports.
@20 mastershakejb
You sound like a hormone raging juvenile.
If it's true that you are a man of leisure and travel extensively, then congratulations. As to to how you can analyze and cross reference macroeconomic indicators while shopping at the market or horse riding at the beach is puzzling to me. This is probably why your assessment of Uruguay's economy being freer than Peru's is so WRONG.
Firstly Peru (bless their wisdom) has modeled their economic policy on Chile's model. They are a free trading, very low tariff, no restrictions on capital flow, actively seeking foreign investment, no fiscal deficits and a positive balance of trade, plus low inflation and a rock solid currency nation.
Uruguay on the other hand is a key member of a protectionist cabal, where the only beneficiary member is Brazil. They have Tariffs, high inflation, burdensome debt, a negative trade balance, a structural deficit and ZERO FTA's. Their overall economic prospects are bleak unless they can escape Mercosur and trade freely with the world. They are certainly not freer than Peru.
23 mastershakejb (#) Sep 22nd, 2012 - 05:49 pm Report abuse
lol, you showed your utter lack of intelligence by stating that peru's economic freedom is higher than that of Uruguay, shows just how little you know, and that's VERY, VERY little. I'm actually impressed at your ignorance and stupidity.
24 Also Add (#) Sep 22nd, 2012 - 05:52 pm Report abuse
lol, when someone as stupid as “The Chilean Perspective” tries to slander me, it is most definitely a compliment. Uruguay = massive middle class Peru = utterly impoverished.
Try traveling before you open your mouth next time and compliment me by slandering me with your ignorance and stupidity ;D
25 The Chilean perspective (#) Sep 22nd, 2012 - 09:37 pm Report abuse
@ 23 mastershakejb
You obviously didn't read the note or you don't understand what it's about. Try familiarizing yourself with the subject matter before you go on the attack as you are embarrassing yourself.
26 mastershakejb (#) Sep 22nd, 2012 - 10:07 pm Report abuse
lol, Chilean Perspective, you clearly understand nothing, and am jealous of me. Try traveling, reading, and making some money ;)
27 Also Add (#) Sep 22nd, 2012 - 10:08 pm Report abuse
are* jealous of me ;)
28 The Chilean perspective (#) Sep 23rd, 2012 - 04:06 am Report abuse
@ 26 mastershakejb & @ 27 Also Add ................
Why don't you go back to facebook or whatever juvenile social media site you came from and leave us grown ups in peace. We discuss adult issues here and do not need pimple faced, hormone fueled, delusional “where in the world is Carmen san Diego players” to detune the discussion. You offer no data or evidence for your diatribes other than stating that you are a globe trotting political expert who is fabulously wealthy, paranoid and likes to use emoticons and two nicks............. What a TOOL.
29 mastershakejb (#) Sep 23rd, 2012 - 07:11 am Report abuse
STILL busy being jealous of me eh? LOL!
30 Rosarino (#) Sep 23rd, 2012 - 08:08 pm Report abuse
Oh, sorry, is not a country....Mr. Dick S., no one consider your proposition....

Malvinas Argentinas!

31 Condorito (#) Sep 24th, 2012 - 12:47 pm Report abuse
@28 Chilean perspective
I agree, although one correction, it seems to be using 3 nicks.
32 British_Kirchnerist (#) Sep 28th, 2012 - 11:59 am Report abuse
To have Hong Kong (both while still a colony and now in the PRC without proper election) and authoritarian Singapore top the list for “freedom” just goes to show capitalism isn't the same as freedom after all!

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