2017 Index of Economic Freedom

Argentina

overall score50.4
world rank156
Rule of Law

Property Rights32.4

Government Integrity38.2

Judicial Effectiveness39.6

Government Size

Government Spending54.6

Tax Burden62.6

Fiscal Health56.4

Regulatory Efficiency

Business Freedom57.3

Labor Freedom46.1

Monetary Freedom50.9

Open Markets

Trade Freedom66.7

Investment Freedom50.0

Financial Freedom50.0

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Quick Facts
  • Population:
    • 42.4 million
  • GDP (PPP):
    • $972.0 billion
    • 1.2% growth
    • 2.7% 5-year compound annual growth
    • $22,554 per capita
  • Unemployment:
    • 6.7%
  • Inflation (CPI):
    • 26.5%
  • FDI Inflow:
    • $11.7 billion
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The government of Argentina has implemented several significant economic policy changes since December 2015, including such critical reforms as modernization of the import regime, reduction of inflation, and reform of the national statistics system. The 2016 settlement with creditors has allowed Argentina to access international capital markets for the first time in 15 years.

Substantial policy adjustments have sent a strong signal that the new government is committed to reform, ending the former government’s period of heavy government interventionism. The economy has been placed on a sounder footing, but much remains to be done in terms of further institutional and structural reform to restore Argentina to its former levels of economic freedom.

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Background

Argentina, once one of the world’s wealthiest nations, is South America’s second-largest country. It has vast agricultural and mineral resources and a highly educated population, but its long history of political and economic instability is the biggest challenge confronting center-right President Mauricio Macri. Upon taking office in December 2015, Macri immediately floated the peso exchange rate, reentered global capital markets, reduced costly electricity and other energy subsidies, and scaled back belligerent claims to the Falkland Islands. Macri’s more moderate policy agenda has repositioned an Argentina that had drifted far outside the mainstream of the international community into a country that is increasingly attractive to foreign investors.

Rule of LawView Methodology

Property Rights 32.4 Create a Graph using this measurement

Government Integrity 38.2 Create a Graph using this measurement

Judicial Effectiveness 39.6 Create a Graph using this measurement

Secured interests in property are recognized and enforced. The government adheres to most treaties and international agreements on intellectual property, although deficiencies persist within the patent and regulatory data protection regimes. Given the president’s minority position in Congress, the pace of reforms to reduce bureaucracy and corruption and enhance the effectiveness and independence of the judiciary will be slow.

Government SizeView Methodology

The top individual and corporate tax rates remain at 35 percent. Other taxes include a value-added tax, a wealth tax, and a tax on financial transactions. The overall tax burden equals 35.9 percent of total domestic income. Government spending has amounted to 38.9 percent of total output (GDP) over the past three years, and budget deficits have averaged 4.8 percent of GDP. Public debt is equivalent to 56.5 percent of GDP.

Regulatory EfficiencyView Methodology

The Macri administration has pursued a range of measures to improve the efficiency of business regulation. In May 2016, the president vetoed a labor law that would have kept firms from dismissing workers, arguing that it would depress the employment outlook by deterring investment. The new government has reduced subsidies on electricity and raised prices on gas, water, and public transportation in an effort to cut the budget deficit.

Open MarketsView Methodology

Trade is moderately important to Argentina’s economy; the value of exports and imports taken together equals 29 percent of GDP. The average applied tariff rate is 6.6 percent. Nontariff barriers interfere with trade, but barriers to foreign exchange have been relaxed. The small financial sector accounts for less than 3 percent of GDP. The presence of foreign banks has increased, and total assets have risen to approximately 30 percent.

Country's Score Over Time

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Regional Ranking

rank country overall change
1Chile76.5-1.2
2Colombia69.7-1.1
3Uruguay 69.70.9
4Jamaica 69.52.0
5Peru68.91.5
6Panama 66.31.5
7Saint Vincent and the Grenadines65.2-3.6
8Saint Lucia65-5.0
9Costa Rica 65-2.4
10El Salvador 64.1-1.0
11Dominica63.7-3.3
12Guatemala 631.2
13Dominican Republic62.91.9
14Paraguay 62.40.9
15Trinidad and Tobago61.2-1.7
16The Bahamas61.1-9.8
17Nicaragua 59.20.6
18Honduras 58.81.1
19Belize58.61.2
20Guyana58.53.1
21Barbados54.5-13.8
22Brazil52.9-3.6
23Argentina50.46.6
24Haiti49.6-1.7
25Ecuador49.30.7
26Suriname48-5.8
27Bolivia47.70.3
28Cuba33.94.1
29Venezuela 27-6.7
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