LEAD Action News
LEAD Action News vol 11 Number 4, June 2011, ISSN 1324-6011
Incorporating Lead Aware Times (ISSN 1440-4966) & Lead Advisory Service News (ISSN 1440-0561)
The journal of The LEAD (Lead Education and Abatement Design) Group Inc.
Editor: Anne Roberts

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Per Capita Gross Domestic Product

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is ‘The total market value of all final goods and services produced in a country in a given year, equal to total consumer, investment and government spending, plus the value of exports, minus the value of imports.’ A ‘final good or service’ is ‘consumed by the end user and [does] not require any further processing.’ (InvestorWords.com) ‘Per Capita’ includes children.


Per Capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the Elimination of Leaded Petrol in 2006

Of the list of leaded petrol countries (except North Korea), Algeria had the highest per capita GDP at 92 out of a list of 183 countries, Iraq was 121, Yemen 137, Myanmar 156 and Afghanistan 168. Please note that these numbers do not represent the ‘score’ given by the IMF, but how the countries rate in relation to each other.

‘In 2006, per capita GDP data was available for the following countries which continued to use lead additives in their vehicular fuels: Afghanistan, Algeria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Morocco, Myanmar, Serbia, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Yemen. Data was not available for North Korea, [Ed’s bolding] Palestine or Western Sahara. In 2006, the IMF provided data about per capita GDP for 179 countries throughout the world (International Monetary Fund 2011).

‘Visual comparative analysis of the frequency histogram generated by the data contained in the per capita GDP Index 2006 indicated that more countries which had eliminated lead from their vehicular fuels displayed higher per capita GDP values than countries which had not eliminated lead from their vehicular fuels.’

NOTE PARTICULARLY – low GDP was not shown by the results to be a barrier to eliminating lead from petrol. If there’s a statistical relationship it is a result of chance, not causation.


‘The finding that the datasets [per capita income and lead petrol status of the country] were statistically equal meant that it could be concluded with confidence that any relationship which may have been observed between per capita GDP and a failure to eliminate leaded petrol in 2006 … emerged by chance. The finding that no … correlation exists between the factors makes it possible to conclude with confidence that the slightly lower median levels of per capita GDP observable in leaded countries as compared with their unleaded counterparts…was not acting as a barrier to the global effort to eliminate lead additives from vehicular fuels in 2006.

‘In 2010, per capita GDP values were available for the following countries which continued to use lead additives in their vehicular fuels: Afghanistan, Algeria, Iraq, Myanmar and Yemen. Data was not available for North Korea.’ [Ed’s bolding] IMF 2010 listed per capita GDP for 183 countries. Algeria 100, Iraq 128, Yemen 138, Burma 163, Afghanistan 173.

Cooper: (2010 data) ‘It can be concluded with confidence that there is no causative relationship between per capita GDP levels and the elimination of lead additives from vehicular fuels, and that the per capita GDP values present in countries still reliant on leaded fuels today is not acting as a barrier to the global effort to eliminate lead additives from vehicular fuels.’

Algeria: Highest per capita GDP of leaded petrol countries for which2010 data was available on IMF index

Economic Freedom (The following information is from Wikipedia, accessed on June 18, 2011.

The Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal created the Index of Economic Freedom in 1995. According to Heritage, the creators of the Index took an approach similar to Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations that "basic institutions that protect the liberty of individuals to pursue their own economic interests result in greater prosperity for the larger society." The authors of the 2009 Index of Economic Freedom are Kim Holmes and Ambassador Terry Miller.

Afghanistan: Lowest per capita GDP of leaded petrol countries on IMF 2010 index

The Index's 2008 definition of economic freedom is the following; "The highest form of economic freedom provides an absolute right of property ownership, fully realized freedoms of movement for labour, capital, and goods, and an absolute absence of coercion or constraint of economic liberty beyond the extent necessary for citizens to protect and maintain liberty itself." The index scores nations on 10 broad factors of economic freedom using statistics from organizations like the World Bank, the IMF and the Economist Intelligence Unit.

The 10 factors which make up the index of economic freedom:

  1. Business Freedom - Business freedom is a quantitative measure of the ability to start, operate, and close a business that represents the overall burden of regulation as well as the efficiency of government in the regulatory process.
  2. Trade Freedom - Trade freedom is a composite measure of the absence of tariff and non-tariff barriers that affect imports and exports of goods and services. Different imports entering a country can, and often do, face different tariffs.
  3. Monetary Freedom - Monetary freedom combines a measure of price stability with an assessment of price controls. Both inflation and price controls distort market activity. Price stability without microeconomic intervention is the ideal state for the free market.
  4. Government Size/Spending - This component considers the level of government expenditures as a percentage of GDP. Government expenditures, including consumption and transfers, account for the entire score.
  5. Fiscal Freedom - Fiscal freedom is a measure of the tax burden imposed by government.
  6. Property Rights - The property rights component is an assessment of the ability of individuals to accumulate private property, secured by clear laws that are fully enforced by the state.
  7. Investment Freedom - In an economically free country, there would be no constraints on the flow of investment capital. Individuals and firms would be allowed to move their resources into and out of specific activities both internally and across the country’s borders without restriction.
  8. Financial Freedom - Financial freedom is a measure of banking efficiency as well as a measure of independence from government control and interference in the financial sector.
  9. Freedom from Corruption - Corruption erodes economic freedom by introducing insecurity and uncertainty into economic relationships. The higher the level of corruption, the lower the level of overall economic freedom and the lower a country’s score.
  10. Labor Freedom - The labor freedom component is a quantitative measure that looks into various aspects of the legal and regulatory framework of a country’s labor market.

The 10 factors are averaged equally into a total score. Each one of the 10 freedoms is graded using a scale from 0 to 100, where 100 represents the maximum freedom. A score of 100 signifies an economic environment or set of policies that is most conducive to economic freedom. The methodology has shifted and changed as new data and measurements have become available, especially in the area of Labor freedom, which was given its own indicator spot in 2007.

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