​​​​ The Global Index of Economic Openness: A Pathway to Prosperity​
TWCF Number
Project Duration
January 15 / 2018
- January 14 / 2021
Core Funding Area
Individual Freedom and Free Markets
Amount Awarded

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Stephen Brien
Institution The Legatum Institute Foundation

Although global economic growth has accelerated significantly since 1947, with open economies responsible for lifting billions out of poverty, this growth has recently slowed. One key factor in the slowing of growth has been market distortions which have had a disproportionate impact upon the world’s poorest people. Led by Dr. Stephen Brien, and advised by some of the world’s foremost trade experts, the Legatum Institute’s Global Index of Economic Openness (GIEO) aims to provide the international community with a unique tool to identify and tackle economic inequality.

The GIEO will be applied to a select number of country case studies, examining how they can increase openness by reducing distortions through a series of public conferences. The index will gauge the relative economic impact of different categories of Anti-Competitive Market Distortions (ACMDs) across the three principles of property rights, international competition, and domestic competition. Through application of the GIEO, the project will be used to influence lawmakers and key international economists to craft policies that will lead to a reduction of distortions in the targeted countries.


  • A general purpose index featuring major categories of trade distortions along with a measure to examine the size of the economic opportunity within a given country,
  • At least ten in-depth nation-specific studies listing distortions and opportunities in the following countries: United Kingdom, United States of America, Brazil, Indonesia, Ghana, India, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, China, Colombia, Venezuela
  • A series of public conferences (to be held globally) to galvanize key stakeholders, and to raise public awareness of the issues surrounding distortions
  • Ten articles or op-eds, to be published in major regional newspapers, for each of the conferences


  • An increase in public desire to maximize economic openness and reduce anti-competitive market distortions
  • Changes in law and trade policies
  • A reduction of global distortions
  • A reduction in global poverty
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