Paths to property

This booklet (111 pp) published by IEA in 2007 is a wonderful introduction to the key role of property rights for development The authors states that “Sub-Saharan Africa has received tens of billions of dollars in foreign aid over the last fifty years, yet economic development has remained elusive. In many countries absolute poverty has increased and life expectancy has declined. They argue that instead of traditional approaches to development policy, the focus needs to be on adoption of sound political and legal institutions, with clearly defined and enforced private property rights to encourage entrepreneurship and economic growth”

Of course one must understand the complexity of actual customary quasi property rights in order to avoid “slogan words “ (Ostrom) However the force and resilience of property rights system is their intrinsic flexibility to adjust to changing circumstances

New forms of property rights are also a perquisite to liberty and environmental conservation.

This book should be a compulsory reading to do-gooders and agencies who spend billions with taxpayer money without clear results.

Max Falque