September, 2017

Economic Freedom and Emotional Well-Being

  • Daniel Bennett

    Research Professor, Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise, Baylor University
  • Boris Nikolaev

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Find the full article online at Regional Analysis and Policy.

We explore the relationship between emotional well-being and economic freedom. Using data for a sample of 12 countries from wave 2 of the World Value Survey (WVS) and the Economic Freedom of the World (EFW) index, we find that people living in more economically free societies are more likely to report the presence of positive affect and absence of negative affect. Specifically, people who live in countries with greater economic freedom are more likely to report feeling excited, accomplished, and on the top of the world. At the same time, they are less likely to report feeling pride, restlessness, loneliness, boredom, and being upset. These results are consistent with previous studies that find a positive association between economic freedom and life satisfaction