Well-Being and Economic Freedom: Evidence from the States

35 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2012

See all articles by Rik W. Hafer

Rik W. Hafer

Plaster School of Business

Ariel R. Belasen

Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville - Department of Economics

Date Written: January 23, 2012

Abstract

There is ample evidence that well-being, measured in various ways, is positively related to economic freedom across countries. Does this relationship hold at the sub-national level? Answering that question is the purpose of this study. Using regression analysis, we test whether economic freedom has an independent effect on well-being across states in the U.S. Our evidence indicates that, at the state-level, improvements in economic freedom lead to higher levels of well-being even after controlling for other economic factors. We also find that the relationship between well-being and economic freedom differs significantly across regions in the United States.

Keywords: Well-being, economic freedom, U.S. states

JEL Classification: D63, I31

Suggested Citation

Hafer, Rik W. and Belasen, Ariel R., Well-Being and Economic Freedom: Evidence from the States (January 23, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1990534 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1990534

Rik W. Hafer (Contact Author)

Plaster School of Business ( email )

St. Charles, MO
United States

Ariel R. Belasen

Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville - Department of Economics ( email )

Edwardsville, IL 62026-1102
United States

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