New Working Paper

Property Rights

Amina Ahmed Lahsen and Dr. Alan Piper have collaborated on an investigation of property rights, intellectual property protection, economic growth and life satisfaction in Latin America. They thank Tobias Halfpaap and Stefanie Stroppel for research assistance and comments on earlier drafts.

The abstract of the working paper is as follows: 

A central argument for increased protections of property rights (PR) is the role they play in encouraging economic transactions, investment and economic growth. Likewise, the utilitarian justification of intellectual property laws is that such rights promote creative inventions and innovation, and thus can make a nation better off. A further argument is psychological: it has also been argued (though rarely tested) that enhanced rights contribute to increases in well-being enjoyed by a county’s citizens. Many Latin American countries have made efforts to improve property rights (and their enforcement) in the recent past, with varying success. Using three data sources (the Latinobarometer, the World Bank, and the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitive Index), this investigation considers the relationship between property rights and intellectual property protection, economic growth, and well-being. The results, which are heterogeneous with respect to labour force status, suggest that policy makers in Latin America should pursue improvements in property rights if they wish to improve citizen well-being while also promoting economic growth.

The working paper itself can be accessed in full here.