Report: Property rights linked to economic security


3rd Annual International Property Rights Index (IPRI)


Index of 115 countries measures connection between private property rights and wealth

“Property rights are human rights.” – Armen Alchian


In order to incorporate and grasp the important aspects related to property rights protection, the 2009 IPRI focuses on three areas: Legal and Political Environment (LP), Physical Property Rights (PPR), and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). Ninety-six (96) percent of world GDP is represented by the incorporated countries, and demonstrates that countries in the top quintile of the Index have an average GDP per capita more than nine times that of those in the bottom quintile.

With regard to Hong Kong, the protection of property rights continues to be a success story though with trials. Hong Kong’s rank had improved, moving from 17th in 2007 to 16th in 2008. However, 2009s index has Hong Kong ranked at 19th, and fallen in our rating. The protection of property rights is becoming more challenging as a lack of definition of property rights is eroding our property rights system, which is the cornerstone of modern civilization.

Peter Wong, The Lion Rock Institute’s Executive Director added: “According to Hernando de Soto, the current credit crisis is partly attributed by a poor record of banks’ toxic assets, and this makes ‘it difficult to determine how much there is, what it’s worth or who holds it.’ At the end, the owner of these assets are unidentifiable and now we see the mess and the destruction that brings when assets are not ‘owned’ by someone. Now in Hong Kong, the property/management rights of public areas are not clearly defined either. If the public space management rights or its de facto ownership is not owned by any developers or governmental departments, but by the ‘public,’ the same mess could also happen here.”

The “public-private space” incident, focusing on property rights and the use of private-public space, demonstrated that Hong Kong still was missing some basic fundamentals. “If Hong Kong wants to continue to enjoy our prosperity, while we want to protect our history and preserve buildings, it is even more important that we won’t sacrifice property rights – for it is these rights that ensure that our society will not decay as our physical heritage buildings have. Once we further define property rights in Hong Kong, it will be an easier task to save our heritage buildings and navigate the public-private dispute. That is why, by partnering with the Property Rights Alliance, we want to raise public awareness of property rights in Hong Kong,” explained Peter Wong.

For more information, such as a country-by-country analysis, list of global partner organizations, or the report in its entirety, visit

The Lion Rock Institute is Hong Kong’s independent, free market, public policy think tank, operating since 2004. Please visit our webpage for more information at

The International Property Rights Index will provide the public, researchers and policymakers, from across the globe, with a tool for comparative analysis and future research on global property rights. The Index seeks to assist underperforming countries to develop robust economies through an emphasis on sound property law. 

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), Malaysian Think Tank in London (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)




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