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2013 Ranking

Rank Country Total
1 Japan 76.29
2 Hong Kong 74.63
3 Taiwan 74.29
4 Singapore 70.41
5 South Korea 70.25
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Intra-trade of Western Balkan Countries - helping thy neighbor

Intra-trade of Western Balkan Countries - helping thy neighbor

24/10/2013

Trade freedom is an important element of overall economic freedom. It allows for higher level of specialization than in a closed economy and international division of labor. This drives rise in productivity, allows for economies of scale and lowers overall costs of production of goods and services. Major savings can be made with imports from relatively cheaper countries. Companies facing fierce international competition must always better the quality, innovate and rise productivity to be able to present valuable products to international market. Highly protected, with tariffs and barriers, domestic industries are not instigated to innovate, lower the costs and introduce new products. This is bad for consumers who can buy products at higher purchasing prices.

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Hiring regulation and minimum wage

Hiring regulation and minimum wage

23/10/2013

The general idea behind the labor market regulation is to protect interests of workers and provide rules of conduct for the employers. Therefore, employment laws are usually set to ensure fair treatment and contracting between employers and workers. The problem with employment regulations is that they distort the freedom and flexibility of employers and employees and can have negative effects on the efficiency of the labor market.

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Monetary Freedom in Western Balkan Countries

Monetary Freedom in Western Balkan Countries

16/10/2013

Generally, monetary freedom represents ability of people to use money, freely, as a mean of exchange. This use of money can be distorted in many ways by government intervention. On one hand, with excess supply of money controlled by central bank, state authority is able to influence overall price level in the country. Excess money, once it reaches citizens pockets, bids up the prices of goods and services. Inflation can also be pumped with excess, deficit, government spending on current consumption. On the other hand, distortion of market prices occurs when public authorities control and limit prices of particular goods and services.

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A couple of success stories in the field of human rights in Western Balkans

A couple of success stories in the field of human rights in Western Balkans

09/10/2013

Human rights protection, as a fundamental element of freedom, constitutes the third variable of the rule of law dimension. Without the rule of law in its entirety, there cannot be effective human rights protection. Without the respect for human rights, the rule of law is unthinkable. Likewise, human rights and economic freedom are interlinked.

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The Size of Government

The Size of Government

03/10/2013

The size of government is one of ten components that are included in the Freedom Barometer. To measure it we use data from the Fraser Institute’s Economic Freedom in the World Index. The component looks at the level of government consumption, taxation and government involvement in economic affairs through subsidies and direct ownership. Among the countries of the Western Balkans region, Albania scores best (8.26 out of 10 points) when it comes to the assessment of the Size of Government indicator.

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Freedom Barometer is a project organised by the European Liberal Forum (ELF) with the support of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom and the Centre for Liberal Studies. Funded by the European Parliament.