"Closer to Free" by The BoDeans
This flash animation for the song "Closer to Free" provides the perfect backdrop for discussing the concept of economic freedom. The animation text describes the Economic Freedom of the World index, provides a summary of countries with high and low values of the index, and highlights the importance of economic freedom in a country's standard of living.
- To describe the concept of economic freedom and why it is important.
- To introduce students to the Economic Freedom of the World index.
- To understand how economic freedom impacts a country's standard of living.
Context for Use
Description and Teaching Materials
If you have not registered, you must to get a password to have access to the library of animations. Scan down and click on the animation for "Closer to Free."
After the animation ends, show students the Economic Freedom of the World website.
Teaching Notes and Tips
The instructor should register and receive the password to the Music for Economics website ahead of time.This animation can be a start to a discussion on the factors that affect a country's standard of living. Using the Economic Freedom of the World website, comparisons across countries can be drawn. Special care should be used to emphasize that economic freedom is related to income, but is affected by many other factors as well.
It should be noted that the numbers in this animation come from the Economic Freedom of the World index computed by economists James Gwartney and Robert Lawson. This index is provided through the Fraser Institute. The Heritage Foundation also calculates its own Economic Freedom Index.
The instructor could allow each student to choose a country and examine how its Index of Economic Freedom relates to the United States. The student could then write a short essay (1-2 paragraphs) summarizing how this country differs from the U.S.
References and Resources
The Economic Freedom of the World index uses 42 distinct pieces of data to measure economic freedom in 141 nations.