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Capitalism Data

Session 6

Capitalism Data

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Session 6

Capitalism Data


To supplement the theory and history of capitalism, we now provide data on more and less capitalistic economies. Which are most open to entrepreneurship? Most respectful of property rights? Wealthiest? Least corrupt?  


Doing Business (World Bank’s ease or difficulty index for 190 economies):

  • The index measures ease of Registering Property, Starting a Business, Getting Electricity, Getting Credit, Dealing with Construction Permits, Enforcing Contracts, Trading across Borders, and more. 
  • The top 10 easiest places to do business are (1) New Zealand, (2) Singapore, (3) Hong Kong, (4) Denmark), (5) South Korea, (6) United States, (7) Georgia, (8) United Kingdom, (9) Norway, and (10) Sweden. 
  • Countries ranked in the bottom half include Argentina (126), Zimbabwe (140), Algeria (157), Haiti (179), Venezuela (188).  
  • With the exception of Georgia, the most capitalist-friendly nations are in the top 20% wealthiest. The most anti-capitalist economies are among the poorest. 


Economic Freedom (Heritage Foundation’s 2021 Index of Economic Freedom):

  • The top ten most economically free countries are:  (1) Singapore, (2) New Zealand, (3) Australia, (4) Switzerland, (5) Ireland, (6) Taiwan, (7) United Kingdom, (8) Estonia, (9) Canada, and (10) Denmark. The United States ranks 20th. 
  • All of the most-capitalist economies scored higher on the rule of law—protection of property rights, judicial effectiveness, and government integrity—as well as in the financial freedom category, which includes measures of banking efficiency and degree of  independence from government interference in the financial sector.
  • Without exception, the most economically free nations are in the top 20% wealthiest.


Corruption (Transparency International’s 2020 Corruption Perceptions Index):

  • Capitalism is strongly correlated with healthy governance and lower corruption, and the least-capitalist nations are the most corrupt. 
  • Of the ten most-capitalist economies in the Doing Business Index, all except Georgia are in the top 10% of least-corrupt nations. Georgia is in the top 40%.
  • Of the ten most economically-free countries in the Heritage Index, all are in the top 15% least-corrupt nations. 
  • The United States ranks 25th, a little behind France and a little ahead of Taiwan. 


China (less capitalist) vs. Hong Kong (more capitalist) (World Bank):

  • Life expectancy at birth: 76 vs. 85
  • Unemployment, total (% of total labor force) (modeled ILO estimate): 4.4 vs. 2.8
  • Population ages 65 and above, male (% of male population): 10.0% vs. 17.1%
  • Population ages 65 and above, female (% of female population): 11.9% vs. 16.7%
  • Mortality rate, female, adult (per 1,000 people): 61.1 vs. 33.6
  • Mortality rate, male, adult (per 1,000 people): 95.1 62.6
  • GDP per capita (constant 2010 US$): 7,752.6 vs. 38,781.8
  • Crude death rate (per 1,000 people): 7.1 vs. 6.3


North Korea (less capitalist) vs. South Korea  (more capitalist) (World Bank):

  • Life expectancy at birth: 72 vs. 83
  • Unemployment, total (% of total labor force) (modeled ILO estimate): 3.3 vs. 3.8
  • Population ages 65 and above, male (% of male population): 6.7% vs. 12.3%
  • Population ages 65 and above, female (% of female population): 11.9% vs. 16.5%
  • Mortality rate, female, adult (per 1,000 people): 97.1 vs. 32.9
  • Mortality rate, male, adult (per 1,000 people): 164.1 vs. 80.5
  • GDP per capita (constant 2010 US$): — vs. 26,761.9
  • Crude death rate (per 1,000 people): 9.0 vs. 5.6
  • Infant mortality rate (per 1,000 people): 13.7 vs. 2.7


Chile  (more capitalist) vs. Venezuela (less capitalist) (World Bank):

  • Life expectancy at birth: 79.9 vs. 72.2
  • Unemployment, total (% of total labor force) (modeled ILO estimate): 7.2 vs. 8.4
  • Population ages 65 and above, male (% of male population): 10.0% vs. 6.5%
  • Population ages 65 and above, female (% of female population): 13.0% vs. 8.0%
  • Mortality rate, female, adult (per 1,000 people): 65.4 vs. 88.1
  • Mortality rate, male, adult (per 1,000 people): 106.1 vs. 188.9
  • GDP per capita (constant 2010 US$): 14,170.9 vs. 9,013.4
  • Crude death rate (per 1,000 people): 5.8 vs. 6.2
  • Infant mortality rate (per 1,000 people): 6.7 vs. 16.8


Compiled by Stephen Hicks and Andrei Volkov, 2021.


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