Is freedom contagious?
Tyler Cowen at Marginal Revolution uncovers these sentences in a paper by Leeson and Sobel (Department of Economics, West Virginia University):
We find that capitalism is in fact contagious. Countries consistently catch about 20 percent of their average geographic neighbors' and trading partners' levels and changes in economic freedom. We also explore American foreign military intervention's ability to spread economic freedom abroad. We find that although intervention may increase freedom in U.S.-occupied countries, this freedom is not contagious. Using our estimates of freedom's spread when it is contagious, we simulate the impact of successful Iraqi occupation on Middle Eastern freedom. Even under the most favorable assumptions, we find that U.S. occupation would minimally improve freedom in this region.That's unfortunate.