Hernando De Soto Receives Julian Simon Award

Congratulations Hernando De Soto

Hernando De Soto will receive the Julian Simon Memorial Award from the Competitive Enterprise Institute during the organization’s annual dinner on June 28th. The prestigious award is named in honor of the late economist Julian Simon who argued that population growth, coupled with human creativity, would lead to prosperity rather than ruin. CEI presents the award every year to “an individual whose work continues to promote the vision of man as the ultimate resource.” Previous recipients of the award include Dr. Vernon L. Smith, former Czech president Václav Klaus, and John Stossel.

De Soto is a Peruvian economist and president of the Institute for Liberty and Democracy, based in Lima, Peru. For decades, De Soto has been advocating for strong and robust property right protections. His work documenting the “dead capital” of those operating in the informal economy have been applauded and recognized by numerous institutions, even US presidents such as Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. De Soto’s work formalizing property rights of the indigenous communities in Peru is widely credited with bringing peace to Peru and defeating the communist Shining Path Uprising. Recently, De Soto has been researching and advocating for blockchain technology to be used as an immutable, decentralized, ledger to register and protect property for the world’s five billion people forced to conduct their economic transactions outside the formal market.

De Soto’s work inspired the World Bank’s “Doing Business” Index as well as Property Rights Alliance’s International Property Rights Index to which he writes the foreword annually and lends his name to fellowship responsible for authoring the report. De Soto has received many other awards and honors from universities and multinational organizations. Recently, the University of Colorado Boulder awarded De Soto an honorary degree for outstanding achievement in intellectual contributions and public service.” In 2016, De Soto was awarded the Brigham–Kanner Property Rights Prize from William & Mary Law School, and in 2004 he received the Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty. De Soto will soon be adding another award to his list of accomplishments.