Hernando de Soto Polar

Hernando de Soto Polar (or Hernando de Soto /dəˈsoʊtoʊ/; born 1941) is a Peruvian economist known for his work on the informal economy and on the importance of business and property rights. He is the president of the Institute for Liberty and Democracy (ILD), located in Lima, Peru.[1]

Hernando de Soto Polar
Hernando de Soto Polar bw hi res
BornJune 3, 1941 (age 77)
FieldThe economics of the informal sector,
research in property rights theory
School or
Austrian School
Chicago School
InfluencesMilton Friedman
Friedrich Hayek
ContributionsDead capital

Early life and education

De Soto was born on 2 June 1941 in Arequipa, Peru. His father was a Peruvian diplomat. After the 1948 military coup in Peru, his parents chose exile in Europe, taking their two young sons with them. De Soto was educated in Switzerland, where he attended the International School of Geneva and then did post-graduate work at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva. He later worked as an economist, corporate executive and consultant. He returned to Peru at the age of 38.[2] His younger brother Álvaro served in the Peruvian diplomatic corps in Lima, New York City and Geneva and was seconded to United Nations in 1982. He retired from the U.N. in 2007 with the title rank of Assistant Under-Secretary-General; his last position was as the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process.[3] He is well known as an international adviser.

Reforms in Peru and elsewhere

Between 1988 and 1995, he and the Institute for Liberty and Democracy (ILD) were mainly responsible for some four hundred initiatives, laws, and regulations that led to significant changes in Peru's economic system.[4]

In particular, ILD designed the administrative reform of Peru's property system which has given titles to an estimated 1.2 million families and helped some 380,000 firms, which previously operated in the black market, to enter the formal economy.[5] This latter task was accomplished through the elimination of bureaucratic "red-tape" and of restrictive registration, licensing and permit laws, which made the opening of new businesses very time-consuming and costly.

University of Chicago political scientist Susan C. Stokes believes that de Soto's influence helped change the policies of Alberto Fujimori from a Keynesian to a neoliberal approach. De Soto convinced then-president Fujimori to travel to New York City, where they met with Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, Barber Conable, Enrique V. Iglesias (the heads of the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, and the Inter-American Development Bank), who convinced him to follow the guidelines for economic policy set by the international financial institutions.[6] These policies led to a reduction in the rate of inflation.[7]

The Cato Institute and The Economist magazine have argued that de Soto's policy prescriptions brought him into conflict with and eventually helped to undermine the Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso) guerrilla movement. By granting titles to small coca farmers in the two main coca-growing areas, they argued that the Shining Path was deprived of safe havens, recruits and money, and the leadership was forced to cities where they were arrested.[8][9] A large terrorist attack was launched against the ILD and de Soto in light of the statements by Shining Path leader Abimael Guzmán who saw ILD as a serious threat.[10][11]

After the split with Fujimori, he and his institute designed similar programs in El Salvador, Haiti, Tanzania, and Egypt and has gained favor with the World Bank, the World Bank-allied international NGO Slum Dwellers International and the government of South Africa.

Since its work in Peru in the 1980s, his institute, the ILD, has worked in dozens of countries. Heads of state in over 35 countries have sought the ILD's services to discuss how ILD's theories on property rights could potentially improve their economies.[12]

The impact of de Soto's institute in the field of development—on political leaders, experts and multi-lateral organizations—is widespread and acknowledged. For example:

  • The ILD's institutional reform program has attracted the interest of strategically key nations concerned with internal conflict and terrorism.
  • The ILD has designed successful reforms that have inspired major initiatives in former client countries such as Egypt, the Philippines, Honduras and Tanzania.
  • The ILD is recognized as the world authority in understanding extralegal economies, influencing the protocols of large multilateral organizations by helping them to understand the realities that the poor and the excluded face, day to day. These include institutions such as the Commission for Legal Empowerment of the Poor, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), USAID and the World Bank.[13]

In 2009, the ILD turned its attention back to Peru and the plight of the indigenous peoples of the Peruvian Amazon jungle. In response to Peru's President García's call to all Peruvians to present their proposals toward solving the problems leading to the bloody incidents in Bagua, the ILD has assessed the situation and presented its preliminary findings. ILD has published a short videotaped documentary, The Mystery of Capital among the Indigenous Peoples of the Amazon, summarizing its findings from indigenous communities in Alaska, Canada and the Peruvian jungle.[14]

Main thesis

The main message of de Soto's work and writings is that no nation can have a strong market economy without adequate participation in an information framework that records ownership of property and other economic information.[15] Unreported, unrecorded economic activity results in many small entrepreneurs who lack legal ownership of their property, making it difficult for them to obtain credit, sell the business, or expand. They cannot seek legal remedies to business conflicts in court, since they do not have legal ownership. Lack of information on income prevents governments from collecting taxes and acting for the public welfare.

The existence of such massive exclusion generates two parallel economies, legal and extra legal. An elite minority enjoys the economic benefits of the law and globalization, while the majority of entrepreneurs are stuck in poverty, where their assets—adding up to more than US$10 trillion worldwide—languish as dead capital in the shadows of the law.[16]

To survive, to protect their assets, and to do as much business as possible, the extralegals create their own rules. But because these local arrangements are full of shortcomings and are not easily enforceable, the extralegals also create their own social, political and economic problems that affect the society at large.

Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, responsible nations around the developing world have worked hard to make the transition to a market economy, but have in general failed.[17] Populist leaders have used this failure of the free market system to wipe out poverty in the developing world to beat their "anti-globalization" drums. But the ILD believes that the real enemy is within the flawed legal systems of developing nations that make it virtually impossible for the majority of their people—and their assets—to gain a stake in the market. The people of these countries have talent, enthusiasm, and an astonishing ability to wring a profit out of practically nothing`.[16]

What the poor majority in the developing world do not have is easy access to the legal system which, in the advanced nations of the world and for the elite in their countries, is the gateway to economic success, for it is in the legal system where property documents are created and standardized according to law. That documentation builds a public memory that permits society to engage in such crucial economic activities as identifying and gaining access to information about individuals, their assets, their titles, rights, charges and obligations; establishing the limits of liability for businesses; knowing an asset's previous economic situation; assuring protection of third parties; and quantifying and valuing assets and rights.[18] These public memory mechanisms in turn facilitate such opportunities as access to credit, the establishment of systems of identification, the creation of systems for credit and insurance information, the provision for housing and infrastructure, the issue of shares, the mortgage of property and a host of other economic activities that drive a modern market economy.[19]

Work and research

Since 2008, De Soto has been refining his thesis about the importance of property rights to development in response to his organization's findings that a number of new global threats have "property rights distortions" at their root. In essays, that appeared from early 2009 into 2012 in media outlets in the U.S. and Europe, De Soto argued that the reason why the U.S. and European economies were mired in recession was the result of a "knowledge crisis" not a financial one.[20][21][22][23][24]

"Capitalism lives in two worlds," De Soto wrote in the Financial Times in January 2012. "There is the visible one of palm trees and Panamanian ships, but it is the other – made up of the property information cocooned in laws and records – that allows us to organize and understand fragments of reality and join them creatively."[25] De Soto argued that the knowledge in those public memory systems, which "helped Capitalism triumph," was distorted over the past 15 years or so. "Until this knowledge system is repaired," he wrote, "neither US nor European capitalism will recover." [26]

In another series of articles that appeared in US and Europe in 2011, De Soto used the findings of ILD field research in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya to make his case for "the economic roots of the Arab Spring."[27][28][29] The ongoing Arab revolutions, he argued, were "economic revolutions" driven mainly by the frustrations of 200 million ordinary Arabs who depended on the informal economy for their livelihoods.[28][29] He pointed to the ILD's earlier 2004 findings in Egypt, which revealed the nation's largest employer with 92% of the property in the informal economy – assets worth almost $247 billion.[27][30] Also, as proof of the extent of desperation among MENA’s entrepreneurs, he elaborated ILD's exclusive research on Mohamed Bouazizi, the Tunisian street vendor whose public self-immolation in protest of the expropriation of his goods and scale literally sparked the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia, which spread unrest through the Arab world.[31][32][33]

After losing core funding from USAID, ILD laid off the majority of their employees from their San Isidro office. In 2014-2015, De Soto and a small team working out of his house began to attempt to guide the political process in Peru, as Presidential elections were due to take place in 2016, by finding solutions to the ongoing national mining crisis. De Soto has been a strong advocate for the formalisation of the informal miners that are scattered throughout Peru.[34][35] Since 2014, several large national investment projects, including Las Bambas, and Tia Maria have been disrupted by violent protests by informal miners against government regulation and formal extractive industries.[36] In July 2015, the ILD discovered that former Shining Path militants who have taken up the ecological cause were paralyzing some $70 billion in mining investment in Peru.[37]

Furthermore, recorded video debates between the former extremists and De Soto were published on ILD's YouTube channel and revealed that the Shining Path militants agree that property rights could be an important part of the solution to social conflicts in Peru.[38] De Soto's stated goal is to determine the roots of informal hostility against multinationals and identify what is needed to build a national social contract on extractive industries that could harmonize their property interests with those of multinationals as opposed to creating conflict.[37]

De Soto applies thesis to terrorism

In October 2014, De Soto published an article in the Wall Street Journal, The Capitalist Cure for Terrorism, that stated an aggressive agenda for economic empowerment was needed in the Middle East in order to defeat terrorist groups like ISIL. He argued that the U.S. should promote an agenda similar to what was successfully used in Peru to defeat the Shining Path in the 1990s.[39] He also mentions in the article that local policymakers in the Middle East are missing the fact that if ordinary people cannot play the game legally, they will be far less able to resist a terrorist offensive. The article received praise among high-level global politicians such as US Presidential candidates Rand Paul and Jeb Bush.[40][41]

Once again In January 2016, De Soto released his second article, How to Win the War on Terror, which focused on defeating terrorism through promoting strong property rights.[42] The article was distributed by Project Syndicate and published in dozens of countries and languages, including in Switzerland by the World Economic Forum in advance of their 2016 forum.[43][44]

De Soto challenges Thomas Piketty and approaches Pope Francis

In 2014, De Soto started to refute French economist Thomas Piketty’s thesis by arguing that his recent attacks against capital in his worldwide best seller book "Capital in the 21st Century" were unjustified.[45] His op-ed article challenging Piketty, ‘The Poor Against Piketty’ (French - Les pauvres contre Piketty) was first published in France's news magazine Le Point in April 2015.[46]

De Soto argued that Piketty's statistics ignore the 90 per cent of the world population that lives in developing countries and former Soviet states, whose inhabitants produce and hold their capital in the informal sector.[47] Furthermore, he states that his institute's global research proves that most people actually want more rather than less capital. Finally, he argues that the wars against capital, which Piketty claims are coming, have already begun under Europe's nose in the form of the Arab Spring in the Middle East and North Africa.[48] The article in English was published in The Independent under the title, ‘Why Thomas Piketty is wrong about capital in the 21st century’, in May 2015 and has since been published in over twenty countries, including in Germany's Die Welt,[49] Nigeria's Ventures Africa,[50] Spain's El Pais,[51] Egypt's Youm 7 [52] and Brazil's Folha de S.Paulo,[53] Canada's Vancouver Sun [54] and the Miami Herald.[55]

In February 2016, De Soto took a break from countering Piketty's work and wrote an article addressing Pope Francis’s trip to Mexico titled, A Mexican Impasse for the Pope.[56] The article encourages the Pope and the Vatican to address the lack of property rights among the poor in countries like Mexico as a solution to global refugee crises.[57][58]

A week later, De Soto published a second article in Fortune Magazine addressing the Pope's and US Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s public spat over building a wall on the Mexican-USA border. The article titled, What Pope Francis Should Really Say to Donald Trump, conveys five property rights related thoughts that the Pope should use to respond to Trump.[59] The article was well received in the US and led to many different opinion articles featured in Breitbart, Investors Business Daily and Stream.[60][61]

Blockchain work

In May 2015, De Soto attended the 1st Annual Block Chain Summit hosted by British billionaire Richard Branson at his private Caribbean residence, Necker Island.[62][63] De Soto was one of three moderators, along with Michael J. Casey, former Wall Street Journal senior columnist and Matthew Bishop, editor at The Economist. Advocates of blockchain technology argue that it is well-suited to acting as a public ledger to help achieve De Soto's objective of formalising the informally-held property rights of groups like the indigenous peoples of Peru.[64][65][66][67][68]

De Soto presented a property application of Bitcoin to Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates and financial authorities of Abu Dhabi at a second Blockchain summit held in Abu Dhabi in 2015.[69]

De Soto has since been involved with a land titling project in Georgia which uses blockchain technology as a notary service.[70]

Praise for work

Since the publication of The Mystery of Capital in 2000 and subsequent translations, his ideas have become increasingly influential in the field of development economics.

Time magazine chose De Soto as one of the five leading Latin American innovators of the century in its special May 1999 issue "Leaders of the New Millennium", and included him among the 100 most influential people in the world in 2004.[71] De Soto was also listed as one of the 15 innovators "who will reinvent your future" according to Forbes magazine's 85th anniversary edition. In January 2000, Entwicklung und Zusammenarbeit, the German development magazine, described De Soto as one of the most important development theoreticians.[72] In October 2005, over 20,000 readers of Prospect magazine of the UK and Foreign Policy magazine of the U.S. ranked him as number 13 on the joint survey of the world's Top 100 Public Intellectuals Poll.

U.S. presidents from both major parties have praised De Soto's work. Bill Clinton, for example, called him "The world's greatest living economist",[73] George H. W. Bush declared that "De Soto's prescription offers a clear and promising alternative to economic stagnation…"[74] Bush's predecessor, Ronald Reagan said, "De Soto and his colleagues have examined the only ladder for upward mobility. The free market is the other path to development and the one true path. It is the people's path… it leads somewhere. It works."[75] His work has also received praise from two United Nations secretaries general Kofi Annan – "Hernando de Soto is absolutely right, that we need to rethink how we capture economic growth and development"[76] – and Javier Pérez de Cuéllar – "A crucial contribution. A new proposal for change that is valid for the whole world."[77]

In October 2016, de Soto was honored with the Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Prize, awarded by the William & Mary Law School during the 13th Annual Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Conference, in recognition of his tireless advocacy of property rights reform as a tool to alleviate global poverty.[78]


Among the prizes he has received are:

  • The Freedom Prize (Switzerland)
  • The Fisher Prize (United Kingdom)
  • 2002
  • 2003
    • received the Downey Fellowship at Yale University
    • the Democracy Hall of Fame International Award from the National Graduate University (USA)
  • 2004
  • 2005
    • an honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of Buckingham (United Kingdom),
    • The Americas Award (USA)
    • named the Most Outstanding of 2004 for Economic Development at Home and Abroad by the Peruvian National Assembly of Rectors
    • received the Prize of Deutsche Stiftung Eigentum for exceptional contributions to the theory of property rights
    • the 2004 IPAE Award by the Peruvian Institute of Business Administration
    • the Academy of Achievement's Golden Plate Award 2005 (USA) in tribute to his outstanding accomplishments
    • the BearingPoint, Forbes magazine's seventh Compass Award for Strategic Direction
    • was named as a "Fellow of the Class of 1930" by Dartmouth College.
  • 2006
  • 2007
    • The Poder BCG Business Awards 2007, granted by Poder Magazine and the Boston Consulting Group, for the "Best Anti-Poverty Initiative"
    • the anthology Die Zwölf Wichtigsten Ökonomen der Welt (The World's Twelve Most Influential Economists, 2007), included a profile of de Soto among a list that begins with Adam Smith and includes such recent winners of the Nobel Prize in Economics as Joseph Stiglitz and Amartya Sen.
    • the 2007 Humanitarian Award in recognition of his work to help poor people participate in the market economy.
  • 2009
  • 2010
    • the Hayek Medal for his theories on liberal development policy ("market economy from below") and for the appropriate implementation of his concepts by two Peruvian presidents.
    • the Medal of the Presidency of the Italian Republic (Council of Ministers) in recognition of his contribution toward the betterment of humankind and having worked for the future of the earth through his commitment.
  • 2016

World Justice Project

Hernando de Soto serves as an honorary co-chair for the World Justice Project. The World Justice Project works to lead a global, multidisciplinary effort to strengthen the rule of law for the development of communities of opportunity and equity.[83]

Criticism and responses

Over the last decades, property rights literature has voiced diverse views on the effect of the titling of land.[84][85][86][87][88][89] De Soto has been criticized by some academics for methodological and analytical reasons, while some activists have accused him of just wanting to be a representative figure of the prioritizing property rights movement. Some state that his theory does not offer anything new compared to traditional land reform. "De Soto’s proposal is not wealth transfer, but wealth legalization. The poor of the world already possess trillions in assets now. De Soto is not distributing capital to anyone. By making them liquid, everyone’s capital pool grows dramatically".[90] While analysing Schaefer's arguments, Roy writes, "de Soto’s ideas are seductive precisely because they only guarantee the latter, but in doing so promise the former".[91]

What differentiates de Soto from his predecessor is his attempt to include non-agricultural land in the scheme of reform and emphasizing in formalization of existing informal possession.[92] His emphasis on title formalization as the only reason behind economic growth in the United States has been subject to criticism.[93] Property formalization in America may have happened as a result of different reasons including establishment of law and order, increased state control, greater institutional integration, increased economic efficiency, increased tax revenue, and greater equality.([92]) The argument for private and often individualist property regime comes under the question of societal legitimacy, may not be justified even if de Soto eyes bringing an unified system in a state or unification with the global economy.[90]

In his Planet of Slums,[94] Mike Davis argues that de Soto, who Davis calls 'the global guru of neo-liberal populism', is essentially promoting what the statist left in South America and India has always promoted—individual land titling. Davis argues that titling is the incorporation into the formal economy of cities, which benefits more wealthy squatters but is disastrous for poorer squatters, and especially tenants who simply cannot afford incorporation into the fully commodified formal economy.

Grassroots controlled and directed shack dwellers movements like Abahlali baseMjondolo in South Africa and the Homeless Workers' Movement (Movimento dos Trabalhadores Sem Teto – MTST) in Brazil[95][96] have strenuously argued against individual titling and for communal and democratic systems of collective land tenure because this offers protection to the poorest and prevents 'downward raiding' in which richer people displace squatters once their neighborhoods are formalized.

An article by Madeleine Bunting for The Guardian (UK) claimed that de Soto's suggestions would in some circumstances cause more harm than benefit, and referred to The Mystery of Capital as "an elaborate smokescreen" used to obscure the issue of the power of the globalized elite. She cited de Soto's employment history as evidence of his bias in favor of the powerful.[97] Reporter John Gravois also criticized de Soto for his ties to power circles, exemplified by his attendance at the Davos World Economic Forum. In response, de Soto told Gravois that this proximity to power would help de Soto educate the elites about poverty. Ivan Osorio of the Competitive Enterprise Institute has refuted Gravois's allegations pointing out how Gravois has misinterpreted many of de Soto's recommendations.[98]

Robert J. Samuelson has argued against what he sees as de Soto's "single bullet" approach and has argued for a greater emphasis on culture and how local conditions affect people's perceptions of their opportunities.[99] UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Olivier De Schutter, has questioned the insistence on titling as a means to protect security of tenure based on the risk that titling will undermine customary forms of tenure and insufficiently protect the rights of land users that depend on the commons, as well as the fear that titling schemes may lead to further reconcentration of land ownership, unless strong support is provided to smallholders.

In the World Development journal, a 1990 article by R. G. Rossini and J. J. Thomas of the London School of Economics questioned the statistical basis of de Soto's claims about the size of the informal economy in his first book The Other Path.[100] However, the ILD pointed out, in the same journal, that Rossini and Thomas’ observations "neither [addressed] the central theme of the book, nor [did it address] the main body of quantitative evidence displayed to substantiate the importance of economic and legal barriers that give rise to informal activities. Instead, [they focused] exclusively on four empirical estimates that the book [mentioned] only in passing".[101]

In the Journal of Economic Literature, Christopher Woodruff of the University of California, San Diego criticized de Soto for overestimating the amount of wealth that land titling now informally owned property could unlock, and argues that "de Soto's own experience in Peru suggests that land titling by itself is not likely to have much effect. Titling must be followed by a series of politically challenging steps. Improving the efficiency of judicial systems, rewriting bankruptcy codes, restructuring financial market regulations, and similar reforms will involve much more difficult choices by policymakers."[102][103]

Empirical studies by Argentine economists Sebastian Galiani and Ernesto Schargrodsky have taken issue with de Soto's link between titling and the increase in credit to the poor, but have also pointed out that families with titles "substantially increased housing investment, reduced household size, and improved the education of their children relative to the control group".[104] A study commissioned by DFID, an agency of the U.K. government, further summarized many of the complications arising from implementing de Soto's policy recommendations when insufficient attention is paid to the local social context.[105]

De Soto himself has often pointed out that his critics mistakenly claim that he advocates land titling by itself as sufficient for effective development: For example, in the ILD's new brochure he is quoted as saying, "The ILD is not just about titling. What we do is help Governments build a system of public memory that legally identifies all their people, their assets, their business records and their transactions in such a way that they can unleash their economic potential. No economy can develop and prosper without the benefits that clearly registered public documents bestow."[106]

On January 31, 2012, de Soto and his publisher were fined by the Peruvian intellectual property rights organization INDECOPI for excluding the names of co-authors, Enrique Ghersi and Mario Ghibellini, on newer editions of his 1986 book The Other Path.[107][108][109][110]



De Soto has published two books about economic development: The Other Path: The Invisible Revolution in the Third World in 1986 in Spanish (with a new edition in 2002 titled The Other Path, The Economic Answer to Terrorism) and in 2000, The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else (ISBN 978-0465016150). Both books have been international bestsellers, translated into some 30 languages.

The original Spanish-language title of The Other Path is El Otro Sendero, an allusion to de Soto's alternative proposals for development in Peru, countering the attempts of the "Shining Path" ("Sendero Luminoso") to win the support of Peru's poor. Based on five years worth of ILD research into the causes of massive informality and legal exclusion in Peru, the book was also a direct intellectual challenge to the Shining Path, offering to the poor of Peru not the violent overthrow of the system but "the other path" out of poverty, through legal reform. In response, the Senderistas added de Soto to their assassination list. In July 1992, the terrorists sent a second car bomb into ILD headquarters in Lima, killing 3 and wounding 19.

In addition, he has written, with Francis Cheneval, Swiss Human Rights Book Volume 1: Realizing Property Rights, published in 2006 – a collection of papers presented at an international symposium in Switzerland in 2006 on the urgency of property rights in impoverished countries for small business owners, women, and other vulnerable groups, such as the poor and political refugees. The book includes a paper on the ILD's work in Tanzania delivered by Hernando de Soto.[111]

  • De Soto, Hernando. The Other Path: The Invisible Revolution in the Third World. Harpercollins, 1989. ISBN 0-06-016020-9
  • De Soto, Hernando. The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else. Basic Books, 2000. ISBN 0-465-01614-6
  • De Soto, Hernando. The Other Path: The Economic Answer to Terrorism. Basic Books, 2002. ISBN 0-465-01610-3
  • De Soto, Hernando and Francis Cheneval. Swiss Human Rights Book Volume 1: Realizing Property Rights, 2006. ISBN 978-3-907625-25-5
  • Smith, Barry et al. (eds.). The Mystery of Capital and the Construction of Social Reality, Chicago: Open Court, 2008. ISBN 0-8126-9615-8


De Soto has also published a number of articles on the importance of inclusive property and business rights, legally empowering the poor, and the causes of the global financial crisis of 2008–09 in leading newspapers and magazines around the world. In 2001, Time magazine published "The Secret of Non-Success,"[112] the New York Times ran his post-September 11 op-ed essay "The Constituency of Terror,"[113] and the IMF's Finance & Development magazine published "The Mystery of Capital", a condensed version of the third chapter of his eponymous book.[114] In 2007, Time magazine published "Giving the Poor their Rights", an article written with former Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, on the legal empowerment of the poor. In 2009, Newsweek International published his essay on the financial crisis, "Toxic Paper"[115] – along with an on-line interview with him, "Slumdogs and Millionaires."[116] That was soon followed by two more articles on the crisis, in the Wall Street Journal ("Toxic Assets Were Hidden Assets")[117] and The Los Angeles Times ("Global Meltdown Rule #1: Do the Math").[118] Versions of these articles also appeared in newspapers in France, Switzerland, Germany and Latin America. In 2011, Bloomberg published "The Destruction of Economic Facts",[119] and The Washington Post recently ran "The cost of financial ignorance".[120] When protests began in Cairo at the beginning of 2011, The Wall Street Journal published De Soto's "Egypt's Economic Apartheid",[121] and Financial Times later published "The free-market secret of the Arab Revolution".[122]

See also


  1. ^ Institute for Liberty and Democracy, "Hernando de Soto – Detailed Bio". (accessed 16 March 2013)
  2. ^ Source: Investors Business Daily, Monday November 6, 2006. p. A4. Leaders & Success. Article by IBD Reinhardt Kraus.
  3. ^ (PDF) http://image.guardian.co.uk/sys-files/Guardian/documents/2007/06/12/DeSotoReport.pdf. Retrieved 31 August 2015. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ The Globalist | Biography of Hernando de Soto Archived 2006-09-11 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill - Website Maintenance". www.johnstoncenter.unc.edu. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  6. ^ Times, Paul Lewis and Special To the New York. "NEW PERU LEADER IN ACCORD ON DEBT". Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  7. ^ Stokes, Susan. "Are Parties What's Wrong with Democracy in Latin America?".
  8. ^ a b "Hernando de Soto's Biography". Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  9. ^ "The economist versus the terrorist". The Economist. 30 January 2003.
  10. ^ http://nsarchive.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB64/peru33.pdf
  11. ^ "The Other Path". www.ild.org.pe. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  12. ^ "Achievements". www.ild.org.pe. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  13. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-07-21. Retrieved 2015-07-17.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^ Enrique Escalante, Edwar. "Peru: The Mystery of Capital among the Indigenous People of the Amazon". Hacer Latin America. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  15. ^ "The Destruction of Economic Facts", by Hernando de Soto. April 28, 2010. Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Accessed online May 2, 2011 [1]
  16. ^ a b de Soto, Hernando. 2000. The Mystery of Capital. UK: Black Swan.
  17. ^ de Soto 2000, 1
  18. ^ Barry Smith, ""Searle and De Soto: The New Ontology of the Social World", in Barry Smith, David Mark and Isaac Ehrlich (eds.), The Mystery of Capital and the Construction of Social Reality, Chicago: Open Court, 2008, 35–51.
  19. ^ Institute for Liberty and Democracy, The ILD's war against exclusion, p. 19. 2009
  20. ^ Sheridan, Barrett. "Economy: Slumdogs vs. Wall Street Millionaires". Newsweek. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
  21. ^ "The Destruction of Economic Facts". Bloomberg Business. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
  22. ^ "Toxic Assets Were Hidden Assets". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
  23. ^ "What if you can't prove you had a house?". The New York Times. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
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  26. ^ "Knowledge lies at the heart of western capitalism". Financial Times. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
  27. ^ a b "The Secret to Reviving the Arab Spring's Promise: Property Rights". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
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  35. ^ Gestión, Redacción (11 July 2015). "Hernando de Soto propone hacer a las comunidades accionistas de las mineras". Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  36. ^ "Conga, Tía María y Las Bambas". Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  37. ^ a b Balbi, Mariella (5 July 2015). "De Soto: "Hay US$70 mil mlls. de inversión minera paralizada"". Retrieved 16 August 2018.
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External links

Americas Quarterly

Americas Quarterly is the leading publication on politics, business and culture in the Americas. Its audience includes CEOs, senior government officials and thought leaders, as well as a general-interest audience passionate about the Americas.

Borrowing elements from The Economist, Foreign Affairs and National Geographic, but with a focus on Latin America, it is dedicated to covering the region in all its diversity and promise.

Launched in 2007, AQ reaches over 15,000 readers and is an independent publication of Americas Society and Council of the Americas. The journal covers a wide range of topics including corruption; entrepreneurship; security; inequality, social mobility; trade; freedom of expression; natural resource extraction; and sustainability.

Brigham–Kanner Property Rights Conference

The Brigham–Kanner Property Rights Conference was organized in 2003 at the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William & Mary, with the first conference held in October of 2004. The Conference and Prize was proposed in 2003 by Joseph T. Waldo, a graduate of the Marshall-Wythe School of Law with the support of the then Dean of the Law School, W. Taylor Reveley, III, who would later become President of the College. The Conference and Prize was inaugurated in 2004. Each Fall the Brigham–Kanner Property Rights Conference awards the Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Prize to an individual whose work has advanced the cause of property rights and has contributed to the overall awareness of the important role property rights occupy in the broader scheme of individual liberty. The Conference seeks to bring together at the College legal practitioners in the field of property law from across the nation along with judges and legal scholars to discuss developments in property rights.In 2011 the Conference, which most years is hosted at William & Mary's Marshall-Wythe School of Law, was hosted by Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. During the 2011 Conference, which was the Eighth Annual Brigham Kanner Property Rights Conference, Retired United States Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor received the Brigham Kanner Prize. The reception was held in the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. The 2011 Conference featured lectures and panel discussions by the leading property rights scholars and practitioners from China and the United States.The Thirteenth Annual Conference, held in 2016, was hosted by Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands and was presented in cooperation with the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies of Leiden Law School. The recipient of the year's Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Prize was Hernando de Soto, Prize-winning economist and author of The Mystery of Capital and The Other Path.Beginning in 2011, the Conference began publishing the Brigham–Kanner Property Rights Conference Journal as a chronicle of the Conference's panels. Volume 1, whose focus was "Compartive Property Rights," features 17 articles that explore the similarities and differences of the property systems in the U.S., China, and other countries. The articles were written by leading scholars and practitioners from the U.S. and China. Articles provide a comparative analysis of legal protection of property rights and also explore topics such as the role of property in promoting social and economic policy, the impact of culture on property systems, and the relationship between property rights and the environment. Four articles reflect on Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's property rights decisions, in recognition of her receipt of the 2011 Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Prize. Subsequent Volumes have had such topics as "Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Property," "The Essence of Property," "Defining the Reach of Property," "Property as a Form of Government," and most recently, "The Role of Property in Secure Societies."The Sixteenth Annual Conference will be held on October 3-4 of 2019 and will honor Professor Steven J. Eagle, Professor of Law at the Antonin Scalia School of Law and author of numerous works, including Regulatory Takings, a leading treatise on the subject, and "The Four-Factor Penn Central Regulatory Takings Test," which was cited by the Supreme Court of the United States in Murr v. Wisconsin.

Brigham–Kanner Property Rights Prize

The Brigham–Kanner Property Rights Prize is awarded each Fall by the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary, at the Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Conference. The Conference and Prize were proposed in 2003 by Joseph T. Waldo, a graduate of the Marshall-Wythe School of Law with the support of the then Dean of the Law School, W. Taylor Reveley, III, who would later become President of the College. The Conference and Prize were inaugurated in 2004.. The Conference and Prize are named after Toby Prince Brigham and Gideon Kanner for "their contributions to private property rights, their efforts to advance the constitutional protection of property, and their accomplishments in preserving the important role that private property plays in protecting individual and civil rights." Toby Prince Brigham is a founding partner of Brigham Moore in Florida. Gideon Kanner is professor of law emeritus at the Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. The Brigham-Kanner Prize is awarded annually during the Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Conference.

Since 2004, the Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Prize has been awarded to a scholar, practitioner or jurist whose work affirms the fundamental importance of property rights and contributes to the overall awareness of the role property rights occupy in the broader scheme of individual liberty.

Cato Institute

The Cato Institute is an American libertarian think tank headquartered in Washington, D.C. It was founded as the Charles Koch Foundation in 1974 by Ed Crane, Murray Rothbard, and Charles Koch, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of the conglomerate Koch Industries. In July 1976, the name was changed to the Cato Institute. Cato was established to have a focus on public advocacy, media exposure and societal influence. According to the 2017 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report (Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program, University of Pennsylvania), Cato is number 15 in the "Top Think Tanks Worldwide" and number 10 in the "Top Think Tanks in the United States".The Cato Institute is libertarian in its political philosophy, and advocates a limited role for government in domestic and foreign affairs. This includes support for abolishing minimum wage laws; opposition to universal health care; the privatization of many government agencies including Social Security, NASA, and the United States Postal Service as well as public schooling; abolishing child labor laws; and a non-interventionist foreign policy.

De Soto (surname)

de Soto is a Spanish surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Álvaro de Soto (born 1943), Peruvian diplomat and UN special envoy

Domingo de Soto (1494–1560), Spanish theologian

Francisco de Soto (c. 1500–1563), Spanish organist and composer

Hernando de Soto (c. 1496/1497–1542), Spanish conquistador

Hernando de Soto Polar (born 1941), Peruvian economist and author

Jesús Huerta de Soto (born 1956), economist of the Austrian school, born in Spain

Luis Barahona de Soto (1548–1595), Spanish poet

Pedro de Soto (1493–1563), Spanish theologian

Benito de Soto (1805–1830), pirate

Dead capital

Dead capital is an economic term related to property which is informally held that it is not legally recognized. The uncertainty of ownership decreases the value of the asset and/or the ability to lend or borrow against it. These lost forms of value are dead capital.

The term dead capital was coined by Peruvian Economist Hernando de Soto Polar.

De Soto estimates there is US$ 9.3 trillion in dead capital globally. The US$ 9.3 trillion are assets owned by poor or middle-class people in emerging economies which cannot be realized due to poor policies, procedures or bureaucracy.

If these assets in the informal sector were recognized and brought into the mainstream, market economy, they could become the key to fostering development.

Development economics

Development economics is a branch of economics which deals with economic aspects of the development process in low income countries. Its focus is not only on methods of promoting economic development, economic growth and structural change but also on improving the potential for the mass of the population, for example, through health, education and workplace conditions, whether through public or private channels.Development economics involves the creation of theories and methods that aid in the determination of policies and practices and can be implemented at either the domestic or international level. This may involve restructuring market incentives or using mathematical methods such as intertemporal optimization for project analysis, or it may involve a mixture of quantitative and qualitative methods.Unlike in many other fields of economics, approaches in development economics may incorporate social and political factors to devise particular plans. Also unlike many other fields of economics, there is no consensus on what students should know. Different approaches may consider the factors that contribute to economic convergence or non-convergence across households, regions, and countries.

Enrique Ghersi

Enrique Ghersi (born 1961) is a Peruvian lawyer, professor and free market intellectual.

Esri International User Conference

Produced by the Environmental Systems Research Institute (Esri, formerly ESRI), the Esri International User Conference (Esri UC) is the world's largest event dedicated to geographic information system (GIS) technology. It is held annually in the United States, usually for one week in July at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California. The Esri UC dates back to 1981. In 2008, conference attendance grew to more than 14,000 attendees.

The conference offers more than 600 GIS user presentation sessions, 300 exhibitors, 275 technical workshops, 100 special interest, regional, and user group meetings, and 600 map posters and special displays from more than 100 countries. Thousands of professionals from different industries attend the Esri UC.There are more than 40 conference tracks divided into the categories of technology, science and modeling, and industry. The tracks include the topics of business, defense, education, environment, government, health and human services, natural resources, public safety, transportation, and utilities.

There are also preconference seminars, a Plenary Session, a Map Gallery and Virtual Map Gallery, GIS concept and industry sessions, panel sessions, lightning talks, an Esri Showcase, a Conservation Showcase, an Academic GIS Program Fair, a Special Achievement in GIS (SAG) Awards Ceremony, and special displays of GIS by organizations such as the National Geographic Society, the National Academy of Science, and the Smithsonian. The Exhibit Hall runs for three days during the event – Tuesday through Thursday – and provides access to Esri business partners and alliances, hardware and software vendors, and solution and data providers. There are additional activities to participate in including a 5K, Golf Tournament, and Tennis Tournament.

In 2009, four conferences took place concurrently with the Esri UC (the Esri Business GIS Summit, Esri Education User Conference, Esri Homeland Security GIS Summit, and Esri Survey & Engineering GIS Summit.) The Esri Defense and Intelligence Executive Track, Esri Senior Executive Seminar, Remote Sensing and GIS gathering, and Climate Change GIS Special Program also took place during the event.

A certain amount of complimentary conference registrations are often available with an organization's ArcGIS software maintenance plan.

International School of Geneva

The International School of Geneva (in French: Ecole Internationale de Genève), also known as "Ecolint" or "The International School", is a private international school based in Geneva, Switzerland. Founded in 1924 in the service of the League of Nations, it is the oldest and largest operating international school in the world. In the mid-1960s, a group of teachers from Ecolint (Campus La Grande Boissière) created the International Schools Examinations Syndicate (ISES), which later became the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) and then the International Baccalaureate (IB).Ecolint is composed of three campuses in and around Geneva, each with its own principal working under the Director General of the Foundation of the International School of Geneva (currently Dr David Hawley) and a Governing Board elected by parents and staff with co-opted members from the UN and Swiss Government. Ecolint is a bilingual school, with instruction primarily in English and French. In addition to the IB, it is a testing centre for the US college boards (SAT and ACT) and the British IGCSE (CIE).Ecolint is a member of the G20 Schools Group. In 2006, the British Guardian newspaper listed Ecolint as one of the best international schools in the world for those seeking a UK-style curriculum (a reference to Campus La Châtaigneraie). According to the Good Schools Guide International, "the International School of Geneva (Ecolint) turns out well-educated, happy students who are comfortable with themselves and ready to move on to tertiary education around the world."

James Tooley

James Nicholas Tooley (born July 1959, in Southampton, England) is a professor of education policy at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, where he directs the E. G. West Centre. For his research on private education for the poor in India, China and Africa, Tooley was awarded the gold prize in the first International Finance Corporation/Financial Times Private Sector Development Competition in September 2006. From 2007 to 2009, he was founding President of the Education Fund, Orient Global, and lived in Hyderabad, India. He is currently chairman of education companies in Ghana (Omega Schools Franchise Ltd) and India (Empathy Learning Systems Pvt Ltd) creating low cost chains of low cost private schools. He also holds an appointment as an Adjunct Scholar at the Cato Institute and serves on the Advisory Council of the Institute of Economic Affairs as well as on the Academic Advisory Council of Civitas: The Institute for the Study of Civil Society. He also serves on the Board of Visitors of Ralston College, a start-up liberal arts college in Savannah.

Land titling

Land titling is a form of land reform in which private individuals and families are given formal property rights for land which they have previously occupied informally or used on the basis of customary land tenure. Proponents argue that providing formal titles increases security of land tenure, supports development of markets in land, and allows better access to credit (using land titles as collateral). Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto Polar is the most well-known advocate of the approach, but it has a long history. Recently, "inspired by these ideas, and fostered by international development agencies, land titling programs have been launched throughout developing and transition economies as part of poverty alleviation efforts." The goals of poverty alleviation and urban management, however, can lead to conflicts in the design of land titling programs.Research in China by Landesa and others has found that more than 40% of farmers lack written documentation to confirm their land rights, and that local governments can frequently take away or sell off their land rights. Where policy reforms have been implemented, the organizations report, farmers invest in and benefit from their land, and they estimate that secure land rights represent the equivalent of $1.2 trillion in farmers' hands. UN Habitat launched a "Global Campaign for Secure Tenure".Evidence on the effectiveness of land titling for poverty reduction and economic development is mixed, with the key issue being the impact of titling on the security of land tenure, which varies. Particularly where customary land is involved, the introduction of formal land registration may have unpredictable effects, with the efficiency and marketisation of existing forms of land tenure underestimated, and the costs of formal registration underestimated and the security of formal land title overestimated. In many countries, recipients of formal title have later found that their titles did not give them the expected security in the face of market or state requirements to obtain their land. Some studies have found positive outcomes, albeit less strong than expected; one recent study on land titling in Argentina found that "entitling the poor increases their investment both in the houses and in the human capital of their children."The way in which land titling is carried out may raise gender issues. While titling was expected to promote long term investments and ensure the transfer of land from less efficient to more efficient users, studies assessing the impact of tenure reform in Africa often found few significant effects of privatisation on production and, in some cases, even negative effects (Bruce and Migot Adholla 1994). The impacts of privatisation of pastoral rangelands on production have been particularly contentious (Rutten 1992, Peters 1994, Pinckney and Kimuyu 1994, Archambault 2007)Joint titling successes happen, though most have not been complete successes, even when significant reforms have taken place. Despite Tanzanian legislation providing women the right to land and implementing default joint-titling, there has been little work on

the ground to ensure this is implemented. In India, even with political support for joint-titling policy, institutional backing from local land authority's is needed to make progress. As each reform is important for establishing joint-titling regimes, they are worth considering independently, even if they ultimately failed

List of economists

This is an incomplete alphabetical list by surname of notable economists, experts in the social science of economics, past and present. For a history of economics, see the article History of economic thought. Only economists with biographical articles in Wikipedia are listed here.

Munk Debates

The Munk Debates are a semi-annual series of debates on major policy issues held in Toronto, Canada. They are run by the Aurea Foundation, a charitable foundation set up by Peter Munk, founder of Barrick Gold, and his wife Melanie Munk. The debate series was founded in 2008 by Munk and Rudyard Griffiths, who moderates most of the debates.

The Munk debates are held in Toronto, at steadily larger venues as they have proven popular. Tickets are sold to the general public, and sell out shortly after being made available.

A poll is taken from the audience both before and after each debate. The winner of the debate is determined by how many people are persuaded to move from one opinion side to the other.

The debates have been broadcast on CBC Radio's Ideas as well as CPAC. The more recent ones have also appeared on international broadcasters including BBC and C-SPAN.

Order of the Direkgunabhorn

The Most Admirable Order of the Direkgunabhorn (Thai: เครื่องราชอิสริยาภรณ์อันเป็นที่สรรเสริญยิ่งดิเรกคุณาภรณ์; RTGS: Khrueang Ratcha-itsariyaphon An Pen Thi Sansoen Ying Direkkhunaphon) was established by King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX) on 22 July 1991 (B.E. 2534) to be bestowed upon those who have rendered devotional services to the Kingdom of Thailand. The title Direkgunabhorn (ดิเรกคุณาภรณ์) roughly translates as "Noble order of abundance and quality."

Shock therapy (economics)

In economics, shock therapy is the sudden release of price and currency controls (economic liberalization), withdrawal of state subsidies, and immediate trade liberalization within a country, usually also including large-scale privatization of previously public-owned assets.

Urban Land Committees

Urban Land Committees (Spanish: Comités de Tierras Urbanas, CTUs) are Venezuelan local neighbourhood committees which, in conjunction with Venezuelan Communal Councils, develop land titling in urban areas. CTUs are organised and set up by local communities (around 100-200 families), in a contiguous area defined by the community. Under a February 2002 decree, the CTUs can apply to a government office for the local "barrio" residents to be given property title for state-owned land they have informally occupied on a long-term basis. The CTUs operate on the principle of participatory democracy, and create maps of the local area, on the basis of which (after official verification) land titles are drawn up. By early 2010, CTUs had obtained over 500,000 land titles, benefiting over 300,000 households.

World Economic Forum

The World Economic Forum (WEF), based in Cologny-Geneva, Switzerland, was founded in 1971 as a not-for-profit organization. It gained formal status in January 2015 under the Swiss Host-State Act, confirming the role of the Forum as an International Institution for Public-Private Cooperation. The Forum's mission is cited as "committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic, and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas".The WEF hosts a annual meeting at the end of January in Davos, a mountain resort in Graubünden, in the eastern Alps region of Switzerland. The meeting brings together some 2,500 business leaders, international political leaders, economists, celebrities and journalists for up to four days to discuss the most pressing issues facing the world.

The organization also convenes some six to eight regional meetings each year in locations across Africa, East Asia and Latin America, and holds two further annual meetings in China, India and the United Arab Emirates. Beside meetings, the organization provides a platform for leaders from all stakeholder groups from around the world – business, government and civil society – to come together. It also produces a series of research reports and engages its members in sector-specific initiatives.There have been many other international conferences nicknamed with "Davos". However, the World Economic Forum objected the use of "Davos" in such contexts for any event not organised by them. This particular statement was issued on 22 October 2018, a day before the opening of 2018 Future Investment Initiative (nicknamed "Davos in the desert") organised by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia.

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