Economic freedom is on the decline in Israel, according to a report released today. In the Economic Freedom of the World: 2008 Annual Report, released today by the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies (JIMS) and produced by the Fraser Institute of Canada, Israel is ranked 76th, down from 44th place in last year's report.
JIMS attributes Israel's poor showing in this year's report to a growing public sector. The government enterprises and investment component of the ranking measures the extent to which countries use private rather than government enterprises to produce goods and services. This component is published by the IMF's Government Finance Statistics electronic data.
"Government firms play by rules that are different from those to which private enterprises are subject. They are not dependent on consumers for their revenue or on investors for capital. They often operate in protected markets. Because public firms are not subject to competition, they can charge higher prices for lower quality services" says Professor Robert Sauer, President of JIMS.
The report ranks Hong Kong number one, followed by Singapore then New Zealand. Zimbabwe once again has the lowest level of economic freedom among the 141 jurisdictions included in the study, followed by Angola and Myanmar.
The annual peer-reviewed Economic Freedom of the World report is produced by Canada's Fraser Institute in cooperation with independent institutes in 75 nations and territories. It uses 42 different measures to create an index ranking countries around the world based on policies that encourage economic freedom.
The full report is available at www.freetheworld.com.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes.co.il - on September 18, 2008
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