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Index of Economic Freedom

The Heritage Foundation’s 2006 Index of Economic Freedom is out. Hong Kong and Singapore lead the way. Estonia comes in at seven, Chile at fourteen. These are the top 10 ‘worsened'.

In the Wall Street Journal Mary Anastasia O’Grady, one of the reports' editors, uses the contrasts between Estonia and Chile to claim that:

A new measure of economic development?

Tokyo had Godzilla; New York had King Kong. But will Beijing ever be taken seriously as a great world city before it is destroyed by a giant monster?

Imagethief's post is a lot of fun, and we discover that, among others:

Benjamin Friedman at AEI-Brookings

Friedman will be at the AEI-Brookings Joint Center on Jan. 9 to discuss 'The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth.' On the menu: the positive connections between growth and morality and recommend policies that could enhance the moral benefits created by rising standards of living. (via GovernanceFocus)

Global fraud on the rise

PricewaterhouseCoopers’ 2005 Global Economic Crime Survey is out. They report that 45% of the companies in their 34-country study reported falling victim to fraud in the past two years. See the press release or individual country reports.

Raghu Rajan on aid and growth

Raghuram Rajan writes on Aid and Growth: The Policy Challenge in Finance and Development. He remains sceptical:

Unfortunately, I'm not sure that even if each micro-intervention works well by itself, they will all work well together. Interventions could affect each other and get in each other's way or vie for the same resources. They could also have adverse spillover effects on the rest of the economy.

The impact of tourism in Africa

The impact of tourism in Africa accounts for more cash moving from rich to poor countries than governments give in aid…tourism constitutes over 10% of total exports in more than half of African countries for which there is data. In countries such as Mali and The Gambia, tiny annual international arrival figures of 70,000 – that’s less than 200 tourists a day – are significant and tourism contributes 10.1% and 30.5% of total exports for these countries respectively.

Making poverty history in 2006

It was a banner year in 2005 for big speeches from global leaders about fighting third-world poverty. But if any of their promises are going to come close to being kept, 2006 must be a year of action... The world needs no more speeches in 2006 about global poverty. The six million children under 5 who die every year of diseases that can be easily and cheaply treated do not need more lofty goals. Nor do the 40 million young people still unable to go to school, or the 300 million Africans who lack access to clean water.