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Economics and Human Flourishing

Contributing to making the world more just, prosperous and conducive to human flourishing by supporting research focused on individual freedom and free markets.

Individual Freedom and Free Markets (IFFM) is one of Templeton World Charity Foundation’s four core funding areas. Our founder, Sir John Templeton, believed that religious, political, and economic freedoms form the foundation for both spiritual and material progress. Grounded in the ideas of classical liberal political economy, we seek to fund research and capacity that further this Classical Liberal Tradition. Sir John wrote that “perhaps one of the greatest developments in human history has been the increasing possibility for the freedom of each individual to learn and grow and develop” (Essay - 4), and “Progress thrives in the context of fair and fully open competition” (Possibilities, 36).

The Economics and Human Flourishing Priority (EHF) is our current IFFM funding program, through which we support discoveries in economics and closely related disciplines.

Specifically, we support original research, and we aim to invest in the next generation of scholars working at the frontiers of empirical, economic research to investigate individual freedom, free market theories, and entrepreneurship in the context of outcomes related to human flourishing. Taking a global perspective, beyond high-income countries, we seek to make a global impact on public policy and private enterprise.

Our Champion Approach

Since 2012, TWCF has awarded about $20 million in grants exploring various aspects of freedom and free markets.

We use a novel method to identify grant opportunities , something we call our “Champion Approach.” Champions are experts, with the knowledge and networks needed to locate high-potential projects for funding. Champions identify potential grantees who TWCF would probably not have found on its own. Champions play an essential role in assisting applicant teams develop their research plans and connect with like-minded scholars.

The key rationale behind the champion approach is to enable quick exploratory action by leveraging the talents, knowledge, and networks of leading experts in the field. Champions, who are highly regarded senior experts, assist us in identifying the most promising ideas and scholars, and in shaping proposals.

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What we seek to accomplish
Advance our understanding of individual freedom, free markets, and entrepreneurship by fostering discoveries in economics which contribute to human flourishing.

Build global research capacity to better understand and promote the pillars of a free society, including respect for property rights, the rule of law, a culture of accountability, and personal responsibility.

Fund projects sourced by leading experts who are willing to champion other researchers’ outstanding new ideas related to individual freedom and free markets.
EHF criteria

Criteria Framing our Goals

Successful projects will apply core economic theories and principles, such as those concerning markets, competition, innovation, and agency, to issues involving individual freedom, free markets, or entrepreneurship. We have established a set of inclusion and exclusion criteria to frame our goals and appropriate topics in this space, as well as to stimulate their exploration.

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