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Who Benefits from Economic Freedom? Unraveling the Effect of Economic Freedom on Subjective Well-Being

Gehring, Kai

In: World Development, 50 (2013), pp. 74-90. ISSN 0305-750X

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Who benefits from economic freedom? Results from a panel of 86 countries over the 1990–2005 period suggest that overall economic freedom has a significant positive effect on subjective well-being. Its dimensions legal security and property rights, sound money, and regulation are in particular strong predictors of higher well-being. The overall positive effect is not affected by socio-demographics; the effects of individual dimensions vary, however. Developing countries profit more from higher economic freedom, in particular from reducing the regulatory burden. Culture moderates the effect: societies that are more tolerant and have a positive attitude toward the market economy profit the most.

Document type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: World Development
Volume: 50
Publisher: Elsevier Science
Place of Publication: Amsterdam
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2014 09:25
Date: 2013
ISSN: 0305-750X
Page Range: pp. 74-90
Faculties / Institutes: The Faculty of Economics and Social Studies > Alfred-Weber-Institut for Economics
DDC-classification: 300 Social sciences
Uncontrolled Keywords: economic freedom, happiness, life satisfaction, government size, institutions
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