PRA Launches the 2020 International Property Rights Index 


Property Rights Alliance in cooperation with 122 think tanks across the world is proud to launch the 2020 International Property Rights Index (IPRI).

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The Index measures 129 countries to offer a comprehensive insight on the strength of physical property rights, intellectual property rights, and the legal and political environments that enforce them. Renowned economist Dr. Hernando De Soto said, “Property rights guarantee freedom and provide incentives allowing people to live and work for a purpose and not be locked out of the formal economy. Without an integrated formal property system, a modern market economy is inconceivable”.

The unprecedented pandemic has quickly spread to all the continents and the world is expecting a vaccine to stop the fear. Global crises like the Coronavirus pandemic are critical in transforming research and innovation potential into solutions. Rapid response requires confidence in an IP system that works and policy that supports business. According to Dr. Sary Levy Carciente, author of IPRI “The relevance of respecting Intellectual Property Rights is the promotion of social and economic incentives to stimulate creation, innovation, and its dissemination.”

Intellectual Property policy plays a silent role in supporting new ideas and investments that are a key indicator for economic and social prosperity. Every job in some way produces or relies on creativity and commercial distinctiveness.

IPRI is comprised of 10 items grouped under three core components: Legal and Political Environment (LP) providing information on ​​the strength of a country’s institutions, Physical Property Rights (PPR) and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), that reflect the two forms of property rights decisive for countries’ socio-economic development.

Lorenzo Montanari, Executive Director of Property Rights Alliance and Editor of the Index says that “during this pandemic time, now more than ever it is evident how innovation and intellectual property rights are playing an important role in finding solutions to Covid-19. Property Rights are not only one of the most important pillars of any free society but also human rights as stated in the art.17 of the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”

Key Findings

As an average, the sample of the 129 countries showed a score of 5.73, where the Legal and Political Environment (LP) was the weakest component with a score of 5.14, followed by the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) component with a score of 5.55; Physical Property Rights (PPR) was the strongest component with a score of 6.5.

Although the 2020 IPRI average score is 5.728, when the population weighs in, it reduces to 5.649, which is a decrease of 1.03% from last year (5.7086). However, there is an improvement if compared to 2018 IPRI-population (5.645) and 2017 IPRI-population (5.522), presenting a promising scenario where more people around the world enjoy property rights protection.

Three countries — Finland, Switzerland, and Singapore — have achieved the highest property rights protections.Finland remains 1st overall in protection of property rights, with a score of 8. 654. While the trade war between China and the United States has drawn attention to the importance of intellectual property rights, the IP gap remains the same. The United States earned a score of 8.050, while China got a 6.045 score.

The IPRI in its 14th edition also includes four case studies from think tanks around the world:

Τhe Case of Peru: The Mystery of Capital among the Indigenous Peoples of the Amazon by Dr. Hernando de Soto, Instituto Libertad y Democracia (Peru).

Undoing 26 Years of Progress: Property Rights in South Africa by Jacques Jonker and Martin van Staden, Free Market Foundation (South Africa)

Multipurpose Cadastre Project and Its Role in Property Rights Protection in Colombia by Carlos Augusto Chacón Monsalve and María Fernanda Gallego, Instituto de Ciencia Política Hernán Echavarría Olózaga, Colombia

Innovation Accelerated: Factors Enabling Rapid COVID-19 Vaccine Development by Philip Thompson and Mary Ann Cortese, Property Rights Alliance, USA

The Executive Summary can be found here.

The complete dataset with country profiles and a country comparison tool can be found here.

Contact: Lorenzo Montanari