I) a) The index measures the degree of freedom present within a country’s institutions and the policies they make.
b) Areas of EWF index are: 1 Size of Government: Expenditures, Taxes, and Enterprises 2 Legal Structures and Security of Property Rights 3 Accesses to Sound Money 4 Freedoms to Trade Internationally 5 Regulations of Credit, Labor, and Business
c) In the case of China the evolution of the index is that of a rising trend. Starts off with 4 in 1980 and increases up to 5.10 in 1985. Falls slightly to 4.9 in 1990 but rises back to 5.20 in 1995. A fast growth can be seen in 2000 where it rose to 5.7, the highest level yet. A fairly good amount of increase in freedom from 2000 to 2005 as it reaches up to 6.3 after which it remains comparatively steady throughout the years and falls down to 6.22 eventually in 2011.
d) The factors that accounted for improving the index throughout the years are investment freedom, monetary freedom and business freedom. The factors that worsened the index are freedom of corruption, labor freedom and the management of government spending. Lack of political will prevails and becomes a hurdle in fundamental reorganizing of the country along with its continued reliance on public investment. The communist party’s ultimate power over the country undermines the rule of law.
e) It is relevant as it states the freedom in the tax structure and government regulations which is very important for businesses while calculating their costs of production. It tells them the freedom of property rights and legalities so that they can determine how easily they can establish a firm and how soon can they operate or how efficiently they can expand. The freedom to access to money and credit systems is again important as it determines the availability of credit to them. The freedom of international trade is relevant once these firms decide to import raw materials or export their finished products.
II) a) The index attempt to calculate the degree of individual freedom present within a country. The extent to which people can enjoy major civil liberties such as freedom of speech and religion.
b) The areas and components of Personal Freedom Index are;
1) Security and safety
Government’s threat to a person
Society’s threat to a person
Threat to private property
Threat to foreigners
1. Extrajudicial killings
3. Political imprisonment
1. Intensity of violent conflicts
2. Level of organized conflict (internal)
3. Female genital mutilation
4. Son preference
6. Human trafficking
7. Sexual violence
9. Level of perceived criminality
Forcibly displaced populations
Freedom of foreign movement
Freedom of domestic movement
Women’s freedom of movement
Freedom of speech
Laws and regulations that influence media content
Political pressures and controls on media content
Dress code in public
4) Relationship freedoms
Freedom of assembly and association
Government restrictions on religion
Social hostility toward religion
Age of consent for homosexual couples
Adoption by homosexuals
c) The strengths in China involve Security and Safety particularly due to its organized and elaborate law body that holds extensive power. Government threats to a person can be seen however in the area of “enforced disappearances” that the government seeks to legalize into the country’s Criminal Procedure Law. Society’s threat to a person is a shortcoming of china where domestic violence against women is ignored in many cases, female sexual dysfunction is not being studies yet, son preference is prevailing, threats to private property are present and low threats to foreigners, in fact they