Rediff has an interesting story on how different methods used to compute economic freedom yield drastically different results. But
Both studies find that the more economically-free states are also more prosperous, but have shied away from arriving at any conclusions about causality — whether economic freedom leads to stronger economies or whether stronger economies result in more economic freedom. [Rediff]
This last observation tallies in with my own conclusions, which I posted here and here a couple of weeks ago. I do not think it is necessary to find the causal link between economic freedom & prosperity or human development. Economic freedom is a fundamental right and must be seen as such. That it correlates with prosperity and development is an advantage.