• youtube
  • twitter
  • google plus icon
  • facebook
  • logo linkedin
  • The 2017 Global Award for Entrepreneurship Research goes to Hernando de Soto

    The 2017 Global Award for Entrepreneurship Research goes to Hernando de Soto

    The Global Award for Entrepreneurship Research is the most prominent international award in entrepreneurship research with a price sum of EUR 100,000. De Soto’s analyses have had tremendous influence on policy throughout the world and were a main source of inspiration for the World Bank’s Doing Business program. Read More
  • 2017 Award Winner

    2017 Award Winner

    Hernando de Soto Peru  Institute for Liberty and Democracy For developing a new understanding of the institutions that underpin the informal economy as well as the role of property rights and entrepreneurship in converting the informal economy into the formal sector.   Read More
  • 1
  • 2

By extending his compassion to those who lack property rights, Pope Francis has an opportunity to do very much for very many, writes Hernando de Soto. On February 17, Pope Francis is scheduled to celebrate Mass in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, just south of the border with the US. He will surely take that opportunity to urge support for the poor in Mexico and for those who have migrated north.

After all, that is what he did in September during his moving homily in New York’s Madison Square Garden.

Referring to the 11m undocumented immigrants in the US, he asked his listeners to reach out to “all those people who don’t appear to belong, or are second-class citizens... because they have no right to be there”.But the absence of rights is a problem that is neither unique to the US nor confined to immigrants who lack legal authorisation to remain in the country in which they reside.Far larger and far more damaging is the difficulty that afflicts the 5bn people who lack documented property rights.

In Mexico alone, there are 10m urban homes, 137m hectares of land, and 6m businesses whose owners’ rights are poorly protected.If Francis focuses only on undocumented immigration in his Juárez address, his message is likely to become bogged down in a debate about US security concerns and countries’ sovereign right to protect their borders.If, instead, he expands the discussion to include the importance of clearly documented property rights within countries, he will be on much firmer ground. Property rights are a universal right enshrined in the US Constitution and the UN Charter.

Indeed, it is in search of just such rights that many of the world’s poor are motivated to cross borders into countries like the US.


Read the rest of the article on the website of the Irish Examiner

Contact Us
P.O. Box 18-1420  
(511) 222-5566