Do legal rights correlate to development?
As far as correlation does not mean causation, even it found a high correlation between some legal rights and economical parameters, it doesn’t mean that the latter are caused by legal dimensions only. However, if strong correlations exist between some legal rights and some socioeconomic outcomes, this is a good argument for policy makers to improve situation with proper legal rights which highly correlate with their first priority, that of socioeconomic policy aims. It’s important to know the real impact of improving legal rights for society to avoid overestimation or underestimation of this impact. Also, regarding the increase in the amount of different international ratings of legal rights, the question which is more reliable should be raised (“competition of ratings”). The correlation analysis shows that “economic oriented” legal rights such as like property and intellectual property are relatively more correlated with GDP per capita. On the other hand, political rights and civil freedoms such as the right not to be tortured unlawfully detained are relatively more correlated with social progress as a more complex and general socio-economic outcome. At the same time there is no high correlation observed between legal rights and life expectancy.