This puts the Andean nation in the bottom half of those studied in the Economic Freedom of the World report and represents its worst standing dating back decades. This is a fall from 2015, when Colombia ranked 103rd overall, and a substantial drop from its ranking of 84th in 2010. Among the data listed in this year’s report, Colombia’s best data year came in 1990, when it placed 69th.
Despite the poor performance compared to past results, Colombia remains above regional peers Bolivia (123rd), Ecuador (127th), Brazil (144th), Argentina (160th), and Venezuela (162nd). On the other hand, Colombia still has a long way to go to catch up with Chile (15th), Peru (44th), Uruguay (65th), and Mexico (82nd).
The top 10 nations came in as follows: Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Switzerland, Ireland, the United States, Georgia, Mauritius, the United Kingdom, and Australia and Canada (which were tied for 10th).
The study, which is based upon 2016 data and includes 162 different countries, knocks Colombia especially for its legal system and property rights, which rate 131st in the world. By contrast, it fares better when it comes to size of government (64th), business regulations (77th), credit market regulations (71st), and overall regulations (84th).
On the two other main categories, “sound money” and “freedom to trade internationally,” Colombia ranks 105th and 103rd, respectively.
The annual Economic Freedom of the World (EFW) report is based upon a concept of “economic freedom” that is largely grounded in the “concept of self ownership,” write the authors.
“The cornerstones of economic freedom,” they continue, “are personal choice, voluntary exchange, open markets, and clearly defined and enforced property rights…Economically free individuals will be permitted to decide for themselves rather than having options imposed on them by the political process or the use of violence, theft, or fraud by others.The EFW index is designed to measure the degree to which the institutions and policies of countries are consistent with economic freedom.
The Economic Freedom of the World authors have worked over the years to increase the data tracked in the study. Last year, for example, they for the first time incorporated insight about the differing treatment of men and women under the law.
The listed authors of the 2018 EFW study are: James Gwartney of the Stavros Center for the Advancement of Free Enterprise and Economic Education, Robert A. Lawson, of the Cox School of Business, Southern Methodist University, Joshua C. Hall of West Virginia University, Ryan Murphy of the SMU Cox School of Business, Pál Czeglédi of the University of Debrecen, Rosemarie Fike of Texas Christian University, Fred McMahon of the fellowship of the Dr. Michael A. Walker Chair in Economic Freedom, and Carlos Newland of ESEADE University and Torcuato Di Tella University.