In an interesting new report, the Property Rights Alliance has published the first index measuring property rights. Not surprisingly, the report finds that nations with stronger protections of property rights also have more prosperous economies. It was discouraging to read, though, that America is tied for 14th place, behind welfare states such as Denmark, Sweden, and Germany (though the U.S. beat France):
...countries in the higher rankings of the IPRI are primarily advanced industrialized economies, particularly Western Europe (Scandinavia) and North America. Countries that show a weak performance with respect to property rights protection are African and Latin American nations, in addition to the Central European nations. ... better performing countries (1st Quartile in ranking) enjoy, on average, a GDP per capita income of more than eight times their counterparts at the lower quartile of the Index. ... citizens of countries in the top quartile in the IPRI ranking enjoy a per capita income that is more than seven times that of their counterparts in the bottom quartile. ... the correlation between the IPRI rating and GDP per capita amounts to a value of eighty-nine percent.