This paper proposes an operational interpretation of the concept of economic governance. It argues that the capacity of governments to credibly ensure a secure economic environment provides an important benchmark against which governance can be evaluated. Such an environment—which is essential for sustained growth in a market economy—can be established through a rules–based system which ensures freedom of entry into the market, access to information, and sanctity of contracts. Since creating a secure economic environment involves profound, far–reaching social change, it has historically been a complex and lengthy process in most societies. However, basing policy prescriptions on this benchmark helps avoid possible conflicts between different social and moral values.