From 1985 to 2015, China, Hungary, and Israel outperformed other cases of “actually existing socialism” in terms of real GDP per capita, income and wealth equality, education, infant mortality rates, and life expectancy. Not only did those three countries liberalize their economies over that period, but each moved closer toward the U.S. model of liberal market institutions than toward the Scandinavian welfare-state model.

Ryan H. Murphy is a research associate at the O’Neil Center for Global Markets and Freedom in the Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business.
AsiaDemocracyEconomic PolicyEconomyEuropeInternational Economics and DevelopmentPhilosophy and ReligionSocialism, Communism, and Collectivism
Other Independent Review articles by Ryan H. Murphy
Winter 2023/24 Singapore’s Small Development State
Fall 2021 10% Less Democracy: Why You Should Trust Elites a Little More and the Masses a Little Less
Fall 2018 Reply to Michael C. Munger
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