Property Rights Index 2008: Poor need property laws to create wealth

People in countries that protect their physical and intellectual property enjoy a GDP per capita up to nine times greater than those without legal protection, the 2008 edition of the International Property Rights Index (IPRI), reveals. Countries that protect property rights provide an essential foundation for peace, stability and prosperity, the Index shows: its calculations cover 115 countries, representing 96 per cent of the world’s GDP.


Pakistan lags behind 92 countries; ranked at 93 with weakest property rights

Far behind neighboring India’s position at 36

In IPR even Bangladesh is ahead of Pakistan

In Gender Equality, Pakistan is ranked at 86th out of 90 countries

People in countries that protect their physical and intellectual property enjoy a GDP per capita up to nine times greater than those without legal protection, the 2008 edition of the International Property Rights Index (IPRI), reveals. Countries that protect property rights provide an essential foundation for peace, stability and prosperity, the Index shows: its calculations cover 115 countries, representing 96 per cent of the world’s GDP. Alternate Solutions Institute, Lahore, and 40 organizations from six continents joined the Property Rights Alliance in Washington, DC and its Hernando de Soto Fellowship program to disseminate the report that is released today.

“Property is an extension of one’s self and life. Without its protection, we are just in a state of social and existential nothingness,” said Dr. Khalil Ahmad, Executive Director of the Institute. “What happened in the wake of Benazir Bhutto’s assassination, and how both public and private property was plundered is sufficient to prove the state’s criminal negligence in protecting its own property and the property of its citizens,” he added.

That is why for Pakistan not only protection of property rights but protection of property itself continues to be a great challenge. The 2008 IPRI Report shows that Pakistan lags behind 92 countries with weakest property rights and is ranked at 93rd position (score: 3.9 out of 10) along with Nepal and Ecuador. It is far behind India’s position at 36.

This year the top country is Finland with 8.6 score whereas the bottom country is Bangladesh with 2.9. It is important to note that Pakistan falls in the bottom quintile that includes countries like Bangladesh and Ethiopia. It is no better than its last year’s performance when it was ranked at 59th position out of 70 countries with a score of 3.3. As regards Intellectual Property Rights, Pakistan is ranked at 103rd with 2.8 score whereas Bangladesh fares better at 101st with 2.9. In Gender Equality regarding property rights, Pakistan is ranked at 86th out of 90 countries with a score of 2.4. In other components of the Index, Pakistan’s performance is as follows:

Legal and Political Environment: score 3.0; rank 106th; Last year’s score 1.9
Physical Property Rights: score 5.8; rank 56th; Last year’s score 5.1
Intellectual Property Rights: score 2.8; rank 103rd; Last year’s score 2.8
Gender Equality: score 2.4; rank: 86th out of 90 countries; Last year’s score 2.0 and rank 63rd out of 65 countries

Hernando De Soto, whose seminal work on property rights led to the conception of the IPRI, said this year’s results “provide further proof of the relationship between the robustness of a country’s property rights system and its economic development, revealing that much still needs to be done to extend property rights to more people, especially the poor.”

In order to incorporate and grasp the important aspects related to property rights protection, the 2008 IPRI focuses on three areas: Legal and Political Environment (LP), Physical Property Rights (PPR), and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). The 115 countries represent 96% of world GDP: the study demonstrates that countries in the top quartile of the Index have an average GDP per capita more than nine times higher than those in the bottom quartile.

The International Property Rights Index provides the public, researchers and policymakers, from across the globe, with a tool for comparative analysis and research on global property rights. The Index seeks to assist underperforming countries to develop robust economies through an emphasis on sound property law.

Download the Report (PDF)

For more information, such as a country-by-country analysis, list of global partner organizations, visit www.InternationalPropertyRightsIndex.org

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