Property rights: bad grade for Argentina

TN – In an international ranking, which covers 131 countries, it is located in the 79th place. The study includes both citizens and companies.

Argentina was poorly rated in the Respect for Property index prepared by the Property Rights Alliance. In a ranking that includes 131 countries, it is in the 79th place. Out of a maximum value of 10, the index that corresponds to Argentina is 5.11. It is in the fourth quintile in the ranking along with countries that poorly respect property rights. The concept of respect encompasses both citizens and companies.

To get an idea of ​​the importance of this rating, the publication shows a correlation between the index – the degree of respect for property rights – and the level of development of the nations located in each quintile. The countries of the fourth quintile, where Argentina is located, average an income per inhabitant of US $ 6,254, while those of the first quintile reach US $ 58,900.

Those of the second to u $ s 30,027; and those of the third, US $ 12,306, which indicates that there is a very close relationship between respect for property and the development of countries. The opening of the index shows more weaknesses than strengths of Argentina.

In these three areas, Argentina is generally poorly qualified. In the first, referring to the legal and political context, it reaches only 4.45 out of 10. On the other hand, in physical property rights, the index is 5.45, and in the intellectual one, 5.40. The opening of these three indices clearly shows where our weakness lies.

In reference to the legal and political context, the worst score corresponds to the judicial independence index, where it barely reaches 3 points. This index would be even lower if the news closest in time were included, since the deterioration of judicial independence has worsened during the current administration.

Other factors, such as respect for the Rule of Law and political stability, show relatively poor ratings, although not as poor as judicial independence. Regarding physical property, for example real estate, Argentina’s rating is good in terms of registration, 8.4 points, but poor in terms of the protection of those rights, for example when noting intrusions.

The problem in Argentina is not that they are not registered in the name of their true owners, but rather that a third party can violate that property and illegally occupy a property, without the justice being able to resolve this issue quickly.

Regarding intellectual property, Argentina also has a good rating in the formal part, that is, in the registration and protection of patents. But it is poorly qualified in respect of those records. There is a sub-index referring to that respect in which Argentina has only 3.4 points. This, together with the lack of protection to physical property and to what is registered, gives an idea that in Argentina the law exists but its compliance fails.

Respect for property rights is a condition sine qua non for investment and development. When the location of the country is observed in the regional context, it is clear what the weakness is. Both Chile, Uruguay and Brazil are better rated. Meanwhile, Paraguay, Bolivia and Peru are below the Argentine indices.

This is what is intuitively perceived knowing the performance of these countries, particularly Chile, which is the highest in the region with 6.9 points, followed by Uruguay with 6.19. They are countries where the property has a more efficiently achieved protection. No substantial variations are observed between 2020 and 2019.

This means that Argentina is not managing to improve, and perhaps in some aspects, such as the illegal occupation of properties, there is a clear deterioration. Measurements of this depth and character are not necessary to intuit that property and its respect have a fundamental relationship with the country’s ability to attract investment, create employment and grow.

But it is good to take into account the measurements that this publication exposes, because it validates with reliable data and seriously conducted surveys what intuition clearly puts us ahead of.

The Fundación Libertad y Progreso, whose aims are the promotion of the ideas of freedom, but particularly respect for the right to property and the rule of law, makes this publication an element of analysis, and the need to expose it to the public , because only through the comparison of what happens with other countries and with the world, it is possible to locate ourselves and not disagree with reality.

It is a reality that we must insistently modify, since if we do not improve respect for property, it is difficult for us to propose successful structural reforms.