The global spread of think tanks and economic freedom

Benjamin Powell, Matt E. Ryan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Only a few countries had free marker think tanks prior to 1980. Today, there are nearly 500 such think tanks operating in nearly 100 countries. We examine the role that these think tanks played in the Sizable increase in economic freedom around the globe that has occulted over the last forty years. We find that aggregate think tank years is associated with larger increases a country’s economic freedom scores over five-and ten-year periods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-31
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Private Enterprise
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017


  • Economic freedom
  • Social change
  • Think tanks


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