"State-directed capital flows concentrated in a small number of financial institutions and corporations hamper growth….When control over capital is shifted from a few financial institutions to many, it results in an immediate increase in people looking for new businesses to finance."

—From "Capital Access Index: Emerging and Submerging Markets," a Milken Institute policy brief by economists Glenn Yago and David Goldman.

Using 17 indicators, including government debt as a percentage of GDP, allowed foreign ownership, and capital gains tax rates, the authors assess emerging economies in terms of capital access, which they consider "the most salient dimension of a country's economic environment that allows it to realize its growth potential." Singapore tops their list, while Bulgaria brings up the rear. Available on the Web at or by calling 310-998-2600.

For related measures of economic freedom and competitiveness, check out the Fraser Institute's "Economic Freedom of the World" (, the Heritage Foundation's 1998 Index of Economic Freedom (, and the World Economic Forum's "Global Competitiveness Report" (