We at the Austrian Economics Center and the Property Rights Alliance, in cooperation with 113 think tanks across the world, are proud to release today the 2018 International Property Rights Index in partnership with the Free Market Foundation in South Africa. The Index measures the strength of physical property rights, intellectual property rights, and the legal and political environments that contain them.
Worldwide, six billion people suffer from inadequate protection of their property rights. Only 758 million people, 13 percent of the world, enjoy adequate protections for their artistic works, inventions, and private property. Three countries, Finland, New Zealand, and Switzerland (a quarter of one percent of the world) have achieved the highest property rights protections.
Property rights are a key indicator of economic success and political stability. Renowned economist Hernando De Soto said, “weak property rights systems not only blind economies from realizing the immense hidden capital of their entrepreneurs, but they withhold them from other benefits as evidenced through the powerful correlations in this year’s Index: human freedom, economic liberty, perception of corruption, civic activism, and even the ability to be connected to the internet, to name a few.”
The AEC’s fundamental goal is to promote a free, responsible and prosperous society. Through education and improving public understanding of key economic questions, the AEC promotes the idea of a free market economy and the ideal of a free society.