Book: Sebastiano Bavetta & Pietro Navarra, The Economics of Freedom Theory, Measurement, and Policy Implications (Cambridge University Press, 2015)

Sebastiano Bavetta & Pietro Navarra have recently published a book entitled The Economics of Freedom Theory, Measurement, and Policy Implications (Cambridge University Press, 2015, 222 pages).

Abstract: What is freedom? Can we measure it? Does it affect policy? This book develops an original measure of freedom called ‘Autonomy Freedom’, consistent with J. S. Mill’s view of autonomy, and applies it to issues in policy and political design. The work pursues three aims. First, it extends classical liberalism beyond exclusive reliance on negative freedom so as to take autonomous behavior explicitly into account. Second, it grounds on firm conceptual foundations a new standard in the measurement of freedom that can be fruitfully coupled with existing gauges. Third, it shows empirically that individual preferences for redistribution and cross-country differences in welfare spending in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries are driven by the degree of ‘autonomy freedom’ that individuals enjoy. By means of an interdisciplinary approach and a sophisticated econometric methodology, the book takes an explicit stand in defense of freedom and sets the basis for a liberalism based upon people’s actions and institutions.

  • Offers an original measure of freedom, based on an extended view of classical liberalism
  • Uses an interdisciplinary approach that has roots in economics, politics and philosophy
  • Provides an extensive empirical analysis based on a sophisticated econometric methodology measuring freedom in OECD countries

1. Introduction
Part I. Concepts and Tools:
2. Choice and freedom
3. Measuring autonomy freedom
4. The empirical measure of autonomy
Part II. Autonomy Freedom and the Welfare State:
5. Why redistribute?
6. Autonomy freedom and redistribution
7. Autonomy freedom and welfare spending
8. Conclusion.

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