July 05, 2022
News /
Posted by NCID

The Atlantic Council’s Freedom and Prosperity Center and the Acton Institute have awarded Ignacio P. Campomanes, resident fellow of the Navarra Center for International Development at the Institute Culture and Society in the University of Navarra, a Freedom and Prosperity Academic Grant to finance a research project titled “Paths to Prosperity: Interactions between Rule of Law, Economic and Political Freedom”. These grants aim to promote research that explores the concepts of freedom and democracy, and the mechanisms through which they affect overall prosperity.

“A simple look at the world today reveals a clear picture: the most prosperous countries are almost without exception established democracies where freedom and fundamental rights are preserved and defended,” explains NCID researcher Ignacio P. Campomanes.

The also Economics professor at the University of Navarra adds that “anyhow, historical and current examples of democracies that failed to deliver prosperity for their citizens show that freedom and democracy are not sufficient conditions for economic development”.

In fact, according to Campomanes, “the strong economic growth of China and other non-democratic countries in the last few decades could lead some to the conclusion that freedom is not even necessary to generate increasing prosperity, hampering the embracement of liberal democratic principles among least developed countries, and fostering the wave of populism and democratic backslide in the developed world”.

This research project aims to shed light on the freedom-prosperity debate by developing a new theoretical framework that unbundles the different dimensions of freedom (legal, economic and political), analyzes their interactions and linkages, and the mechanisms through which they affect development and prosperity.

The first phase of the project will run from July to December 2022, and has been funded by the Atlantic Council and the Acton Institute with 54,072€. It will review the delineation of these components of freedom proposed by legal scholars, political scientists and economists, as well as the existing empirical counterparts that have tried to measure them across countries and time.

Ignacio P. Campomanes hols a double B.A. in Economics and Law from Carlos III University in Madrid (2010) and a PhD in Economics from the University of Minnesota (2018). He spent the 2018/2019 academic year as a post-doctoral fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research and, since 2019, he is a resident fellow at NCID. His research lies at the intersection of political economy and macroeconomics with projects on topics such as the relation of inequality and social mobility with fiscal redistribution and economic growth, the effectiveness of foreign aid in the presence of political constraints or the dynamic determinants of politico-economic unions.