Property rights and the rule of law are an economy’s soft infrastructure, they are measures of development and civility. The IPRI is set up a bit like Transparency International with a normalized 0-10 ranking for property rights in various countries. As with all normalized and arguable qualitatively derived data sets, your opinions of veracity may vary, but hey what a great conversation starter about the vital nature of soft infrastructure.
From the report: “The IPRI is an annual study that compares countries in terms of their protection of property rights – both physical and intellectual.
Like previous editions of the IPRI, the 2010 report seeks to investigate the effects of a country’s strong legal and political environment, recognition, and enforcement of physical and intellectual property rights on the economic development of a country. This year’s report compares 125 economies using these three variables as core components and ranks them accordingly.”
“If history could teach us anything, it would be that private property is inextricably linked with civilization.”
—Ludwig Von Mises
Take a look at the International Property Rights Index Site. We think it is quite cool.