Unexpectedly Intriguing!
September 7, 2006

The month of September heralds the arrival of two of the most important reports documenting the ability of regular people to engage in economic activity in countries around the world.

First up, James D. Gwartney and Robert A. Lawson have teamed up again to produce the 2006 Annual Report of the Economic Freedom of the World (available as a 2.1MB PDF document). This year's annual report features a special chapter by William Easterly, who identifies foreign aid (the money and stuff given from the governments of "rich" countries to the governments of "poor" ones) as a particularly ineffective way to improve the economic welfare of the people of the poorer countries.

Next, we have the World Bank's closely related and just updated 2006 Doing Business Index (report overview available as a 1.8MB PDF document). This report measures the ability of people to set up and run businesses by looking at such things as how long it takes to get a business license, how much it costs to launch a business and how easy it is to obtain business credit in the various nations of the world.

We'll be getting more into each of these reports in the weeks ahead - stay tuned!

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