Property Rights Index

IV. IPRI 2017 Country Results

  1. Property Rights: The Essence of Liberty

  2. IPRI Structure

  3. Methodology

  4. IPRI 2017 Country Results

  5. IPRI-Population

  6. IPRI and Gender

  7. IPRI and Development

  8. IPRI Cluster Analysis

  9. Final Remarks

  10. References

  11. Appendix

IV. IPRI 2017 Country Results

This section presents the results of the 2017 International Property Rights Index. Starting with the scores of the overall IPRI and its three (3) components, we follow with detail rankings of the IPRI and its components. Then, movement between the 2016 and 2017 editions, of both individual IPRI components and of the overall IPRI score, are presented. This chapter also includes an analysis of the IPRI for country groups.

As an average, the sample of the 127 countries this year yielded an IPRI score of 5.63, where the Legal and Political Environment (LP) was the weakest component with a score of 5.17, followed by the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) component with a score of 5.50, and the Physical Property Rights (PPR) was the strongest component with a score of 6.23. For the third consecutive year we found an overall improvement of the average IPRI score and for all components (see Table 1).

Table 1. Average Score: IPRI and its Components 2015-2017

Using SPSS® a normality test was run for IPRI and its components, it showed a Gaussian behavior. All of them showed unimodal distributions (see Table 2, Table 3 and Figure 1).

Table 2. Statistics: IPRI and its Components. 2017 

Table 3. Tests of Normality: One-Sample Kolmogorov-Smirnov Test

Figure 2. Histogram: PRI and its components 2017

Table 4 shows -alphabetically ordered- the score value of the 127 countries included in the IPRI 2017, as the scores of its components: Legal and Political Environment (LP), Physical Property Rights (PPR) and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). Figure 3 displays countries organized by their IPRI scores from ranked from highest to lowest.

Table 5 shows the IPRI 2017 rankings by quintile for all the 127 countries in our sample. In general, the number of countries belonging to each quintile increases from the top 20% to the bottom 20% (1st quintile 17 countries, 2nd quintile 22 countries, 3rd quintile 25 countries, 4rd quintile 29 countries and 5th quintile 36 countries).  Hence, the fourth and the fifth quintiles include 65 countries which is 50.18% of our sample, while the first three quintiles includes almost the same amount, 64 countries, being the 50.39% of the sample.

Table 4. IPRI 2017. IPRI and its Components Scores by Country


Figure 3. IPRI 2017: Scores and Rankings

Table 5. IPRI 2017. Rankings by Quintiles 

Figure 4 shows the top 15 countries in this IPRI edition. New Zealand leads the IPRI overall position (8.6335) and the LP (9.0311) and the PPR (8.8255) components. Finland ranks second at the IPRI (8.6257) and its IPR component (8.6714) is second overall as well. It is followed by Sweden (8.6084), Switzerland (8.5614) and Norway (8.5326). The Scandinavian countries keep reporting top IPRI rankings (Finland #2, Sweden #3, Norway #5, and Denmark #12). At the end of this top list we find Austria (8.0122), the USA (8.0741) and the United Kingdom (8.1292). The USA leads the IPR component (8.7155), followed by Finland and Japan (8.3267).

Figure 4. IPRI 2017. Top 15 Countries 

Most of the top countries are the strongest in the IPRI the LP or the IPR components, this is not the case for Singapore.

Countries in the top quintile vary little from the previous IPRI edition, the group is composed of mostly the same countries and their scores differ only slightly from previous years (see Figure 5).

FIGURE 5. IPRI 2016 vs. IPRI 2017. Top Countries Ranking Change 

The bottom 15 countries are shown in Figure 6. The Republic of Yemen is #127 in the IPRI ranking (2.7281) followed by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (3.0566), Bangladesh (3.1170), Moldova (3.1781), Ukraine (3.4243) and Burundi (3.43).

Considering the IPRI components we find the following bottom countries:

  • LP: the Bolivarian Rep. of Venezuela (1.6795), Rep. of Yemen (1.6929), the Dem. Rep. of Congo (1.8236) and Burundi (2.0979).
  • PPR: Brunei (3.2598), Ukraine (3.3779), Bangladesh (3.5024), and Moldova (3.5102).
  • IPR: Rep. of Yemen (1.7075), Bangladesh (2.6225), Moldova (2.6622) and the Bolivarian Rep. of Venezuela (2.8012).

Most of the bottom countries show the PPR (not the case for Albania and Ukraine) as the stronger IPRI component, while the weakest is the LP, even though it is not the case for Azerbaijan, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Albania, Moldova and Bangladesh. This situation is the opposite for the top countries and this seems to be a hint to evaluate the ability of LP to pull the rest of the components.

Figure 6. IPRI 2017. Bottom 15 Countries 

A comparison between the IPRI scores in 2016 and 2017 reveal an improvement, not only in the averages of the IPRI scores and of its components, but also in the maximum level showed by the sample of countries. In both years the minimum score was 2.73, in 2016 for the Bolivarian Rep. of Venezuela and in 2017 for Rep. of Yemen. The 2017 IPRI highest score is 8.6335 (New Zealand) while last year was 8.3768 (Finland).This allows for an improvement of the average IPRI score.

This year, five countries show the highest improvement in their IPRI score: Spain (0.5723), Israel (0.5636), Sweden (0.5099), Ethiopia (0.5069) and Lebanon (0.5005); while the ones with highest decreases in their 2017 IPRI scores were: Romania (-0.4077), Ukraine (-0.5086), Russia (-0.5363), Moldova (-0.5450) and Cyprus (-0.6743).

Looking at these comparisons of the IPRI components we found:

  • LP: the average improvement in 2017-2016 was 0.0413 points. The highest LP improvements came from Nigeria (0.3913), Mauritania (0.3442) and the United Republic of Tanzania (0.3106). Countries with the largest decreases were Macedonia (-0.4480), Burundi (-0.4032) and Bolivia (-0.3960). Changes in LP component score between 2017 and 2016 are shown in Figure 8.

  • PPR: the average improvement in 2017-2016 was 0.352 points. Spain (1.1866) and Nepal (1.1545) showed the highest improvements, while Cyprus (-1.8972) and Russia (-1.8431) showed the deepest declines. Changes in PPR component scores 2017-2016 are shown in Figure 9.

  • IPR: this year the average IPRI score was 5.50267, showing an improvement of 0.17 from the previous year. The most significant increases in the IPR component were reported by Mauritania (0.5907) and Azerbaijan (0.5334) while the largest decreases were incurred by Bolivia (-0.2802) and Liberia (-0.1530). Changes in IPR component scores between 2017 and 2016 can be seen in Figure 10.

Figure 7. IPRI Score 2017-2016 and Variation 

Figure 8. LP Score 2016-2017 and Variation

Figure 9. PPR Score 2017-2016 and Variation 

Figure 10. IPR Score 2017- 2017 and Variation 

IV.1 IPRI 2017 Group Results

After individual country scores were calculated, countries were then sorted into respective groups according to geographical regions, income level, degree of development, membership of trade and regional integration agreements to make further macro comparisons possible. For each group, the IPRI score and of its components were calculated. Past year IPRI classifications were also kept for comparison purposes (see Table 6 and Figures 11-15).

All regions except for CEECA, which declined by 0.124 points, improved their scores. North America and Western Europe keep the top positions, with scores of 8.126 and 7.664 respectively, while Africa (4.810) and CEECA (4.937) countries are at the bottom. Under World Bank region classifications (see Figure 12) Oceania remains the leader with an IPRI score of 8.439, followed by the European Union (6.815) and North America (7.149). Latin America and the Caribbean increased its IPRI score the most from 4.747 to 5.234, or 10.25%.

This year, according to the income criteria of the World Bank there were only four group- each remained the same or improved modestly. The Upper-Middle-Income group recorded a reduction of a 6 thousandth basis point. The strongest improvements in the group were those of the High Income (of 0.364, or 5.44%) and of the Low Income (of 0.333, equivalent to a 7.79%) groups.  The Low-Income group (4.608) have higher scores than the Lower-Middle-Income group (4.487). This is the first year IPRI scores do not follow the income classification directly.

IPRI scores under the Regional and Development classification, according International Monetary Fund, show that the top IPRI-2017 scores are held by the Advanced Economies (7.419) followed by the Middle East, North Africa, Pakistan and Afghanistan group (5.210), Emerging and Developing Asia (5.146) which had the highest IPRI score improvement of 7.72%, and Latin American and Caribbean countries (5.117) which experienced a strong improvement of 7.61%. At the bottom, we find the CIS countries scoring 3.98 with an important step back of 0.289 points, followed by Emerging and Developing Europe 4.764 and Sub-Saharan Africa (4.838) which showed a slight improvement of 3.62%.

Considering economic integration agreements, we included this year the OECD countries, as they are not anymore part of the Income criteria used by World Bank. The top five groups are EFTA (8.265), OECD (7.278), NAFTA (7.149), TPP (6.944) and EU (6.815). On the other extreme we found: CIS (3.858), CEMA (4.293), CEECA (4.439) and SAARC (4.497). The group with the highest level of improvement was CARICOM at 28.6% (improving from 4.476 in 2016 to 5.757 in 2017), followed by CEECA (11.7%), IGAD (9.1%) and MERCOSUR (8.1%). The only group that showed an important reduction was the CIS (-8.4%).

It should be noted that in spite of the political decision by the UK to exit the EU, we still include it in this economic union as data used is prior to that decision.

We also want to highlight that some groups are in different classifications and they report different score values. That is the case of Commonwealth of Independent States and Latin America and the Caribbean. This is because in some of the classifications they include or exclude particular countries.

Table 6. IPRI 2017. Group Scores 

Figure 11. IPRI 2017 and Components. Group Score 

Figure 12. IPRI 2017 and Components. Regional Groups Score 

Figure 13. IPRI 2017 and Components. Development Groups Score 

Figure 14. IPRI 2017 and Components. Income Groups Score 

Figure 15. IPRI 2017 and Components. Economic & Regional Integration Agreement Groups Score