To complement the Prosperity Index, the Legatum Institute commissioned 12 specialists – economists, political scientists, journalists – to provide additional analysis of selected countries. Their studies vary from essays putting contemporary challenges into historical context (Iran, China, Mongolia) to up-to-the-minute surveys of the barriers to economic growth (Egypt, Japan, India) to controversial alternatives to conventional policy interpretations (Iceland, Colombia, Vietnam). In each case they represent highly original work by distinguished experts adding depth and insight to the statistical analysis of the Prosperity Index.

  • ARGENTINA - Crying for Argentina [PDF]
  • “It’s safe to say that no other modern economy with a democratic government has made so little from so much.”
  • Albert Fishlow, former director of Columbia University’s Institute of Latin American Studies
  • BRAZIL - Going Global, the Brazilian Way? [PDF]                 
  • “In addition to shortcomings in nutrition, health, and education, Brazil has been plagued by crime, urban gangs and drug trafficking, explaining its 87th place ranking on the Prosperity Index's sub-index for Safety & Security.”
  • Julia Sweig, Council on Foreign Relations, and Dave Herrero, Locust Street Group 
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    • COLOMBIA - The Orangutan in a Tuxedo [PDF]
    • “The gains that should have followed from economic stability and political pluralism never materialised.”
    • James A. Robinson, David Florence Professor of Government, Harvard University 
    • ICELAND - Rising from the Ashes [PDF]
    • “Iceland’s success with what amounts to Keynesian countercyclical fiscal policy puts it squarely in the middle of the current controversies over the need to bail out banks or to use fiscal stimulus to speed recovery.”
    • Thorvaldur Gylfason, University of Iceland
    • INDIA - Back to the Future? [PDF]
    • “The truth is that India’s problems are largely homemade, stemming from its stalled effort to liberalize an economy that hasn’t rid itself of the legacy of failed Fabian socialism.”
    • Shikha Dalmia, Reason Foundation
    • IRAN - The Glass Half Empty [PDF]
    • “Iran is a cautionary tale for other countries in the region that are remaking their societies and economies in the wake of the Arab Spring.”
    • Robert Looney, Naval Postgraduate School
    • MONGOLIA - The Paradox of Riches [PDF]
    • “There has been an erosion of the sense of collective responsibility and individual self-sacrifice that allowed the imperiled state to get through the 1990s.”
    • Peter Murrell, University of Maryland and Chuluunbat Narantuya, National University of Mongolia
    • VIETNAM - The Road to Market Leninism [PDF]
    • “The ideologically motivated decision to retain industrial and commercial power in the state sector, is now kept in place by interests that profit from the absence of both market competition and administrative discipline.”
    • Jonathan Pincus, Fulbright economics Training Program in Vietnam