In a study released today, data shows that countries that protect the physical and intellectual property of their people enjoy nearly nine times higher GDP per capita than countries ranking lowest in property rights protections. The study, the 2009 International Property Rights Index (IPRI), compared the protections of physical and intellectual property to economic stability in 115 countries representing 96 per cent of the world’s GDP. 

“With regard to private property rights, PRA continues to champion the idea that physical and intellectual property are equally important in nature, and must be protected” states Kelsey Zahourek, PRA executive director. “Property rights contribute to increased levels of stability and provide people with the knowledge and comfort that their property will remain theirs.”
54 organizations from six continents joined the Property Rights Alliance in Washington, DC and its Hernando de Soto Fellowship program to disseminate the report.
Hernando De Soto, whose seminal work on property rights led to the conception of the IPRI, said this year’s results “continue to point out the relationship between a strong property rights system and a country’s economic well-being, revealing that much still needs to be done to extend property rights to more people, especially the poor.”
The 2009 IPRI is a composite ranking of three comprehensive areas of property rights: Legal and Political Environment, Physical Property Rights, and Intellectual Property Rights. Of the 115 countries included, the top quartile averaged $39,991 in GDP per capita while the average in the bottom twenty per cent was only $4,341 per capita. The second, third and fourth quartiles averaged $23,982, $11,748, and $4,891 respectively. The nearly linear data trend shows that countries placing a high priority on property rights see increased economic security.
“As property rights continue to face challenges around the world, we hope this study will be a useful tool for policymakers, think tanks, academics, and investors by highlighting the importance of property rights as a key building block for economic growth,” continued Zahourek. 
The 2009 IPRI partner organizations include: Adriatic Institute for Public Policy (Croatia), Albanian Socio Economic Think Tank (Albania), Alternate Solutions Institute (Pakistan), Association for Liberal Thinking (Turkey), Bishkek Business Club (Kyrgyz Republic), Cathay Institute for Public Affaire (China), CEDICE (Venezuela), Center for Institutional Analysis and Development (Romania), Centre for Civil Society (India), Centre for Free Enterprise (Korea), Centre for Policy Research (India), Centro de Investigaciones de Instituciones y Mercados de Argentina (Argentina), Centro de Investigaciones Económicas Nacionales (Guatemala), CEPOS (Denmark), CIVITA (Norway), Competere (Italy), Economic Policy Institute (Kyrgyz Republic), Entrepreneur Development Foundation (Azerbaijan), Eudoxa (Sweden), European Center for Economic Growth (Belgium/Austria), FREE (Poland), Friedrich A. v. Hayek Institut (Austria), Friedrich Naumann Foundation (Germany), Fundación Atlas 1853 (Argentina), Fundación IDEA (Mexico), Fundación Libertad (Panama), Fundación Libertad y Democracia (Bolivia), IFD (Thailand), IMANI Center for Policy and Education (Ghana), Initiative for Public Policy Analysis (Nigeria), Institute for Market Economics (Bulgaria), Institut Constant de Rebecque (Switzerland), Institute for Public Affairs (Australia), Instituto de Libre Empresa (Peru), Instituto Ecuatoriano de Economía Política (Ecuador), Instituto Liberdade (Brazil), Instituto Para La Libertad y el Analisis de Politicas (Costa Rica), Institute for Free Enterprise (Germany), Instytut Misesa (Poland) International Policy Network (United Kingdom), International Research Foundation (Oman), Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies (Israel), le Centre des Affaires Humaines (Burkina Faso), Liberales Institute (Switzerland), Liberty Institute (India), Limited Government Nepal (Nepal), Malaysia Think Tank (Malaysia), Minimal Government Thinkers (Philippines), Observatorio para el Aesarrollo Territorial (Peru), OHRID Institute for Economic Strategies and International Affairs (Macedonia), Property Rights Alliance (United States), RSE – Centre for Social and Economic Research (Iceland), The Free Market Foundation of South Africa (South Africa), The Lion Rock Institute (Hong Kong), The Nassau Institute (Bahamas), TIMBRO (Sweden)

The report is published at You can also download the press release (PDF).