Encouragingly, the mainstream economics profession has been prating for some time now about the connection between the “rule of law” and economic prosperity and growth.
Most libertarians might take this increasingly popular term as mainstream code for “freedom and property rights,” as I do. I feel it’s what they’re trying to get at while: (a) maintaining the obligatory mumbo-jumbo that the profession relies upon to awe the natives; and (b) not saying anything that seems to lack compassion, such as that some people deserve to be rich and perhaps even grow richer.
This long article from the current Economist gives a good history of the term’s development along with the data required to produce terms like “a standard deviation of governance.”
Study the trend, and see if you think they’re bumbling toward, or away from, freedom and property rights.