The Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal have just issued a joint paper on economic opportunity and prosperity across the world. It ranks countries according to the 2011 Index of Economic Freedom based on criteria such as Business Freedom, Trade Freedom, Government Spending, Property Rights, Freedom from Corruption, Labor Freedom…
The full list of the ranking can be viewed here. The freest economies are Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia. Interestingly the USA rank 9th, UK – 16th, Germany – 23rd, Spain – 31st, France – 64th, Russia – 143rd.
Here is the summary for Spain:
Spain’s economic freedom score is 70.2, making its economy the 31st freest in the 2011 Index. Its score is 0.6 point higher than last year, reflecting improvements in half of the 10 economic freedoms that offset a decline in freedom from corruption. Spain is ranked 17th out of 43 countries in the Europe region, and its overall score is well above the world average.
Spain’s economy performs well in business freedom, trade freedom, and investment freedom. Business formation procedures have become streamlined, and the overall entrepreneurial environment supports private-sector development. Steps taken in 2010 to reform the labor market make it less costly to dismiss a permanent worker and give employers more control of employee organization.
Challenges include fiscal freedom, government spending, and labor freedom. Total government spending is over 40 percent of GDP. Wage growth has outpaced that in other European countries, and home ownership has been heavily subsidized. Recent large fiscal deficits and rising public debt necessitate sound public financial management and a return to a sustainable level of public spending.