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Abstract

In this paper we test the relationship between changes in economic freedom and wellbeing. Unlike previous work which has relied on international data sets, the novelty of this paper is that we use state-level data. Using the economic freedom measures provided by the Fraser Institute and a recently published data set on well-being across states, we find that improvements in economic freedom lead to increases in well-being for the average state. Further analysis shows that the presence of regional variations across the states may in fact suggest differences in optimal freedom levels between regions.

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