The Long-Run Effect of Government Ideology on Economic Freedom

14 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2017

See all articles by Ryan Murphy

Ryan Murphy

Southern Methodist University (SMU)

Date Written: September 19, 2017


Do right-wing or left-wing governments impact economic freedom over time? While rightwing governments often profess an affinity for free markets, intellectual proponents of free markets frequently downplay the importance of the identity of politicians for political outcomes, or question the sincerity of right-wing politicians. This paper uses a cross-sectional measure of the political ideology of the executive and dominant legislative party, by country, for the period 1928-1995 (from Botero et al. 2004) to investigate this question. A modest, positive effect is found for rightwing governments for economic freedom as of 1995, but this effect dissipates by 2015. The effects found are not found to be robust across specifications, although this may be owing to the limitations of the data.

Keywords: Economic Freedom, Economic Institutions, Political Ideology

JEL Classification: D72, O43

Suggested Citation

Murphy, Ryan, The Long-Run Effect of Government Ideology on Economic Freedom (September 19, 2017). Available at SSRN: or

Ryan Murphy (Contact Author)

Southern Methodist University (SMU) ( email )

6212 Bishop Blvd.
Dallas, TX 75275
United States

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