Release of the 2017 International Property Rights Index: On the (Property) Right Track
On July 11, the Americans for Tax Reform Property Rights Alliance released its 2017 International Property Rights Index, which measures Physical Property Rights, Intellectual Property Rights and the prevailing Legal and Political Environment in 127 countries representing 98 percent of global GDP. The International Property Rights Index ranks countries on a scale of one to ten, with ten being a perfect property rights score.
The highest rating this year went to New Zealand, with a score of 8.633, due to its advanced economy, ease of registering property and stable political environment. New Zealand also scored well in Intellectual Property Rights, contributing to its first-in-the-world ranking. Rounding out the top ten in the Index were Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, Luxembourg, Singapore, Japan, Netherlands and Australia, respectively.
The United States ranked fourteenth in the world in property rights at 8.07, however this is an improvement on prior years’ scores. The United States excels in Intellectual Property Rights, with a score of 8.72 demonstrating America’s commitment to the kind of IPR regime that underpins economic growth and creativity. However, the U.S. maintains a mediocre rating (compared to other advanced economies) in Legal and Political Environment at 7.39 and has a particularly low score (6.49) in the Political Stability Subindex. Be that as it may, the United States improved in every category compared to past performance, as did most countries. Countries at the bottom of the list (Yemen, Venezuela, Moldova, Ukraine and Burundi) consistently rank low in Legal and Political Environment, emphasizing the importance of that metric to protecting property rights and promoting national economic health.
Total world performance improved by 3.45 percent since last year, with the Physical Property Rights component improving by 5.98 percent. This demonstrates that global property rights protections are increasing with each passing year, a hopeful sign for global economic prosperity.
The 2017 Index also included several individual case studies from people on the ground highlighting unique property rights issues in countries like Italy, significant improvement in Mexico, lagging property rights in Serbia and other Balkan countries and even the special relationship between Judaism and property rights.
ALEC congratulates the Property Rights Alliance for releasing the 2017 International Property Rights Index which has become an invaluable tool for charting the progress of global physical property rights, intellectual property rights and political and legal stability. In particular, ALEC emphasizes the importance of intellectual property rights (IPR) as the root of 21st century economic success. The United States Constitution gives Congress the power to “promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries”, demonstrating the Constitutional underpinning for intellectual property rights in the United States. Property rights (including intellectual property rights) are natural rights; protecting them protects American jobs, prosperity and innovation. Improving global standards for property rights protections are harbingers of a brighter future for America and the world.