U.S. Falls Out of Top Ten on Prosperity Index for First Time

Mike Periu,

December 11, 2012

The Legatum Institute in London recently published its annual Prosperity Index and for the first time the United States did not rank in the top ten, coming in 12th out of 142 included in the study. This comes at a time when prosperity around the globe has increased.

Scott Shane, Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies at Case Western Reserve University believes this may be happening because of a significant shift in attitudes towards entrepreneurship. Many people don’t believe that entrepreneurship and free markets are key to achieving prosperity. This has led to a decline in entrepreneurship that is in fact important for prosperity. In addition, government regulatory efforts have been focused on reducing “rent-seeking behavior” which in economic parlance means making money by obtaining it from others as opposed to doing it by increasing productivity. These efforts create new regulations, which adds to costs and risks associated with entrepreneurial activity.

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