There is a common misconception among the critics of free global investment markets that political oppression and capitalism go together. Their view entails the idea that, throughout history, states have sacrificed civil liberties in pursuit of economic development. This view point originates primarily from the isolated example of Augusto Pinochet, the dictator of Chile from 1970-1990. During his rule, Pinochet ordered both that thousands of political opponents be killed, and that Chile be transformed into a free market economy.
Fortunately, Pinochet is an (over-referenced) exception to a general rule: the trend throughout history has instead been that nations with well-protected political rights and civil liberties tend to also have well-developed capital markets. There is a clear correlation between strong protection of human rights and having highly-investable modern economies.
In order to examine the human rights record of a country, we looked at Freedom House’s Freedom of the World report. Freedom House separates their scoring of state’s human rights protection into two categories: Political Rights and Civil Liberties.
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