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Dr. Mitchell Explains AR’s Economic Freedom Ranking In Jonesboro Sun Op-Ed

By Caleb Taylor

In an op-ed published in the Jonesboro Sun on December 19th, ACRE Director and UCA Associate Professor of Economics Dr. David Mitchell discussed Arkansas being ranked 35th in economic freedom in the “Economic Freedom of North America 2017” report released on December 14th. The report measures the economic freedom in U.S. States, Mexican States and Canadian provinces based on three main criteria: taxes, government spending and labor market freedom.

Dr. Mitchell writes in the op-ed:

“This ranking matters. There is tremendous empirical evidence that places with more economic freedom grow faster than those with less economic freedom. This is true at the national, state or province, and the city level. Some studies, but not all, find that economic freedom is associated with inequality. Those same studies find that the poorest citizens do better in places with more economic freedom. The average per capita income in 2015 in the freest states was 7 percent above the national average compared to roughly 5 percent below the national average in the least-free states.”

The report was authored by Fred McMahon, the Dr. Michael A. Walker Research Chair in Economic Freedom at the Fraser Institute; Dean Stansel, Research Associate Professor at Southern Methodist University; and José Torra, the head of research at the Mexico City-based Caminos de la Libertad.

You can read Mitchell’s full op-ed here.