Property Rights Index

VI. IPRI and Gender

  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


VI. IPRI and Gender

It is known that property rights within countries can sharply contrast between genders. The IPRI would simply not be complete without measuring this unfortunate dynamic. Gender Equality refers to equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities for women and men. Being a subject of human rights and social justice gender equality is a goal in itself. At the same time, its relevance has been demonstrated in fostering development, particularly in some areas such as health, education, agriculture and unbiased access to credit for reducing poverty. In this way gender equality plays a decisive role for less developed and developing countries.

Although organized by countries, the IPRI measures the property right protections of people, so its gender component grasps possible bias due to this condition. We used the Social Institutions and Gender Index, SIGI (by OECD), to calculate the Gender component for the IPRI, using those items most closely related to property rights and its impact in economic development. The SIGI is composed of five sub-indexes, each representing a separate dimension of discrimination: Discriminatory Family Code, Restricted Physical Integrity, Son Bias, Restricted Resources and Assets and Restricted Civil Liberties.

To account for gender equality, this chapter extends the standard IPRI measure to include a measure of gender equality (GE) concerning property rights. The IPRI formula was modified to incorporate gender equality as following: 


A weight of 0.2 for the gender equality measure is arbitrary. We varied the weight to 0.5 or according to the female and male population in each country, but scores were highly correlated. We decided to keep the weight of 0.2 for comparison purposes with previous data series.

VI.1 Data & Methodology

The GE component is calculated using the following five indicators (Source: OECD Gender, Institutions, and Development Database 2014 (GID-DB) details in Appendix III):

1. Women’s Access to Land: whether women and men have equal and secure access to land use, control and ownership.

2. Women’s Access to Credit: measures whether women and men have equal access to financial services.

3. Women’s Access to Property Other than Land: determines whether women and men have equal and secure access to non-land assets use, control and ownership

4. Inheritance Practices: combines two elements:

  1. Inheritance Practice to Daughters: considers whether daughters and sons have equal inheritance rights.

  2. Inheritance Practice to Widows: assesses whether widows and widowers have equal inheritance rights.

5. Women’s Social Rights: covers broader aspects of women’s equality and it is a composite of four other items crucial to equal standing in society:

  1. Parental authority

    1. In marriage: determines whether women and men have the same right to be the legal guardian of a child during marriage.

    2. After divorce: measures whether women and men have the same right to be the legal guardian of and have custody rights over a child after divorce.

  2. Female genital mutilation: measures the occurrence of female genital mutilation.

  3. Access to public space: evaluates whether women face restrictions on their freedom of movement and access to public space.

  4. Son preference in education: express the percentage of people agreeing that university is more important for boys than for girl.


The original data has three levels: 0 (Best), 0.5 (Average) and 1 (Worst). All data series were rescaled to IPRI the scale (0-10). The final GE score is an index based on the average of the five equally weighted variables. Those variables with more than one item were equally weighted as well. A minimum score (0) means complete discrimination against women, while maximum score (10) is given to countries with gender equality. After calculating GE as an independent measure, it is added to the IPRI as an 11th component to make the IPRI-GE ratings using a scale of (0-12). As the GE data source is discrete, equal outcomes are likely to be found. That is minimized in the IPRI-GE thanks to the variability of the IPRI scores.

VI.2. IPRI-GE and GE. Country Results

The IPRI-GE shows results for 123 of the 127 countries included in the 2017 IPRI, data was unavailable for Brunei Darussalam, Malta, Montenegro and Taiwan. On the other hand, Haiti, Myanmar, Swaziland and Latvia were present in 2016, but they are not in 2017, while Democratic Rep. of Congo and Rep. of Yemen were included this year.

As an average, the 123 countries show a GE score of 7.118 which is lower than the prior two years (2016=7.466; 2015=7.39). while the IPRI-GE score is 7.438 showing a sustained improvement (2016=6.933; 2015= 6.76). This means that gender equality is deteriorating as an average, while the property rights protection improves.  Looking in detail to the GE component we find that the Inheritance Practices (for widows and daughters) and Women Access to Land Ownership are the two items with lower scores (Figures 17a and 17b).

As in 2016 edition, the same 14 countries received the maximum score of GE=10: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Rep., Denmark, Dominican Rep. Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Panama, Portugal and Slovakia, and 30 other countries were in the range of [9-10]. The bottom scores of GE are held by the Democratic Republic of Congo (2.67), Nigeria (3.12), Zambia (3.25), Egypt (3.37), Yemen Rep. (3.59), Oman (3.67), United Arab Emirates (3.67), Saudi Arabia (3.67), Chad (3.71), Iran (3.73) and Mauritania (3.85).

New Zealand leads the IPRI-GE (10.628), followed by Finland (10.62), Sweden (10.61), Norway (10.53), Luxemburg (10.46), Switzerland (10.45), Japan (10.31), Netherlands (10.29), Australia (10.24), Canada (10.17), Denmark (10.16), USA (10.07) and Austria (10.01). All of them are very close in their score values and over 10. In a score range [10-9] we find Germany, Singapore, Ireland, Belgium, UK, Iceland, France, Hong Kong and Estonia.

On the other extreme of the IPRI-GE, with scores below 5, we find Yemen Rep. (3.45), Bangladesh (3.91), Congo Dem. Rep. (4.35), Pakistan (4.47), Nigeria (4.57), Burundi (4.63), Chad (4.63), Moldova (4.76), Mauritania (4.86) and Algeria (4.998).

Analyzing the IPRI-GE score by country groups we found very interesting results (see Figure18):

  • Geographical Regions: at the top, we find North America (10.121) and Western Europe (9.655), while at the bottom are Africa (5.887) and MENA countries (6.463). In the former group the GE component is particularly low, pushing down the IPRI-GE score. just the opposite happens to CEECA, where better GE (9.133) scores pulls up its IPRI-GE (6.795) score.

  • Regional and Development criteria (IMF): Advanced Economies (9.367) is leading the group followed by Latin America and the Caribbean (6.785), Emerging and Developing Europe (6.630), Emerging and Developing Asia (6.388), and MENA & Pakistan (6.086). At the bottom, we find CIS (5.664) and Sub-Saharan Africa (5.926). CIS countries show a high GE score (8.422) but the IPRI score (3.980) pulls down the IPRI-GE, similar situation happens with Latin America and the Caribbean (GE=8.336; IPRI=5.117; IPRI-GE=6.785), while the opposite happens with MENA & Pakistan (GE= 4.377) and Emerging and Developing Asia (5.952) where the GE score is low.

  • Income classification (World Bank): this year the GE does not follow the same pattern than the IPRI, nor of the IPRI-GE. This is because the Low-Income group shows scores slightly better than the Lower-Middle-Income group in IPRI and IPRI-GE, and GE scores.

  • Economic and Regional Integration Agreements: As in the IPRI the five top groups are: EFTA (10.227), OECD (9.207), NAFTA (8.938), TPP (8.822) and EU (8.778). The bottom groups are: CEMAC (5.184), CEEAC (5.355), SAARC (5.557) and CIS (5.602). It should be noted that CIS, MERCOSUR, CAN, MCCA and CARICOM show high GE scores, but their IPRI scores reduce their IPRI-GE values.


FIG. 17a. IPRI-GE 2017. Scores & Rankings


FIG. 17b. GE-2017 Scores & Rankings

Figure 18. GE and IPRI-GE 2017. Groups of Countries 

Table 8 shows the IPRI-GE 2017 rankings by quintile for the 123 countries in our sample. As in the IPRI, the number of countries belonging to each quintile increases from the top 20% to the bottom 20% (1st quintile 17 countries, 2nd quintile 20 countries, 3rd quintile 24 countries, 4th  quintile 28 countries and 5th quintile 34 countries).  Hence, the forth and the fifth quintiles include 50.4% of the countries (62 countries) of the sample.

Table 8. IPRI-GE 2017 Rankings by Quintiles