Senior Honors Theses

Publication Date

Spring 2016

School

Center for Academic Support and Advising Services (CASAS)

Major

Individualized Studies

Keywords

free market, economic freedom, quality of life, invisible hand, Hong Kong, United States, China, Venezuela

Disciplines

Economics | Economic Theory | Income Distribution

Abstract

The “invisible hand” is a concept foundational to the argument for free market economics, and so is hotly debated. One measure of whether or not the free market is a successful economic model is the quality of life of a country’s residents. Quality of life can be assessed through the areas of housing, labor, health, and education. Economic indicators and quality of life statistics for Hong Kong, the United States, China, and Venezuela appear to prove that there is a correlation between quality of life and economic freedom, as defined by the Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom. Even though countries with more economic freedom also have a higher degree of inequality, it is balanced out by overall higher quality of life.

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