Countries looking to create stable, well-developed economies and a high quality of life for citizens should invest in property rights, according to the Property Rights Alliance and its recently-released 2019 International Property Rights Index (IPRI). The significant, positive correlations between several measures of property rights and developmental outcomes suggest a strong relationship between these rights and societies’ prosperity globally, regionally and locally.
The IPRI is an annual index, serving as a barometer for the status of property rights around the world since 2007. The 2019 edition covers nearly 94% of the world’s population and a country’s score consists of three components:
- Legal and Political Environment, which measures the strength of a country’s institutions and respect for the “rules” and rights of its citizens across four factors: judicial independence, rule of law, control of corruption and political stability.
- Physical Property Rights, which evaluates a country’s effectiveness to protect private property rights across three elements: protection of physical property rights, registering property and ease of access to loans.
- Intellectual Property Rights, which measures a country’s protection of intellectual property across three domains: protection of intellectual property rights, patent protections and copyright piracy.
“Property rights are human rights and nurture economic growth and social development.” – 2019 IPRI
According to the latest Index, the intellectual property rights measure has remained fairly stable, even slightly improving, since 2017. Finland, the United States and Switzerland measured the strongest in the intellectual property rights score, which supported their positioning among the top-ranked nations overall.
Importantly, citizens of those countries which ranked highest within the IPRI benefit from a high quality of life. Countries scoring well among the property rights measures showed a significant and/or positive correlation with measures around economic outcomes, strength of institutions and capacity for innovation. This demonstrates the strong relationship between property rights and societies’ ability to thrive – showcasing that investing in a nation’s property rights is an investment in a bright future.
The IPRI results underline the fact that protecting innovators through intellectual property rights is good for countries and their citizens.