This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Index of Economic Freedom. Countless individuals and organizations have contributed to the Index since 1995, and this year’s edition is yet another product of collaborative effort and ever-growing support from people and organizations around the world.
While it is impossible to mention all who contribute to our success, we wish to express our profound gratitude to the myriad individuals serving with various international organizations, accounting firms, businesses, research institutions, U.S. government agencies, foreign embassies, and other organizations who provide data used in the Index. Their assistance is vital and appreciated each year. Very special thanks go to Paul Gigot and Mary Anastasia O’Grady at The Wall Street Journal, whose partnership and support we truly cherish.
The Heritage Foundation’s Center for International Trade and Economics (CITE) produces the Index. The CITE team of James Roberts, Bryan Riley, and Ryan Olson shared responsibility for grading the 10 components of economic freedom, analyzing the results, and producing the country reports included in this edition. CITE interns Alex Bezahler, Petra Niedermayerova, Stevan Novakovich, Sally Platt, Drew Ringley, Bethany Rudibaugh, Ashlee Smith, and Phillip Shattan contributed substantial research. Visiting Fellow Sergio Daga contributed a special chapter and has joined the team as Contributing Editor for Latin America.
The new President of The Heritage Foundation, Senator Jim DeMint, has enthusiastically endorsed the Index and has provided generous support and encouragement during his first year. Likewise, Dr. James Carafano, the new Vice President for Foreign and Defense Policy Studies, has provided innovative advice and guidance on all aspects of Index production and marketing and has been tireless in his efforts to ensure that we had adequate resources for the project. The continuing support from Phil Truluck, Executive Vice President of The Heritage Foundation; Group Vice Presidents David Addington, Ed Corrigan, John Fogarty, and Geoff Lysaught; Vice Presidents Becky Norton Dunlop, Mike Gonzalez, John Von Kannon, Derrick Morgan, and Genevieve Wood; and Chief of Staff Bret Bernhardt is sincerely appreciated.
Others at The Heritage Foundation also made valuable contributions to this year’s Index. In the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies, a great debt is owed to the policy experts who wrote country backgrounds informed by their regional expertise. This year’s contributors were Ariel Cohen, James Phillips, Jessica Zuckerman, and Charlotte Florance of the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies, who were assisted by interns Stefan Gochev, Noelle Suarez-Murias, and Andrew Scarpitta; Lisa Curtis, Bruce Klingner, Derek Scissors, and Director Walter Lohman of the Asian Studies Center; and Luke Coffey and Daniel Kochis of the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom.
The Index of Economic Freedom is a substantial publication brought to print each year by the incredibly talented team in Creative. Director Melissa Bluey, Elizabeth Brewer, Doug Sampson, and Casi Long were responsible for all aspects of the production process.
The Index stands on its commitment to accuracy, and we wish to express our deepest appreciation to Senior Editor Richard Odermatt and Deputy Director of Research Editing Therese Pennefather, who are responsible for final review of the completed text, and Senior Copy Editor William T. Poole, who bears the primary responsibility for perfecting the language of the entire book. We are likewise grateful to Senior Data Graphics Editor John Fleming, who produced an automated system for generating some of our charts and carefully reviewed all graphics included in the book.
The availability of the entire Index and related raw data online at www.heritage.org/index has greatly expanded the publication’s reach and accessibility. The transposition to the Web each year would not be possible without the expertise of Director of Marketing Technology Tim McGovern and his team, including Roger Spurzem, Jim Lawruk, and Maria Sousa. We are also grateful to Chief Executive Officer Mike Needham and his team at Heritage Action for America for their help in spreading the word about the benefits of economic freedom.
We also wish to acknowledge our enduring debt to Chairman Thomas A. Saunders III and the Heritage Board of Trustees, and particularly to Ambassador J. William Middendorf II, who originally encouraged us to undertake such a study of global economic freedom.
Finally, we would be remiss if we did not, in this 20th anniversary edition of the Index of Economic Freedom, acknowledge the contribution of an extraordinary individual to the success of this publication over the years. Dr. Edwin J. Feulner, Founder and former President of The Heritage Foundation, provided inspiration, guidance, and support without which the project could never have become a reality.
Ambassador Terry Miller
Anthony B. Kim
Kim R. Holmes, PhD