The legacy of Hugo Chavez: Venezuela now has the world's worst public institutions

On the passing of Hugo Chavez this March, we looked briefly at his economic legacy, and the performance of Venezuela against its South American neighbours.

The latest World Economic Forum global competitiveness report, released today, is even more striking. Out of 148 countries, here's how Venezuela's institutions fare:

  • 148th for property rights
  • 148th for the diversion of public funds due to corruption
  • 148th for judicial independence
  • 148th for the efficiency of the legal framework in settling disputes
  • 148th for the burden of government regulation
  • 148th for the wastefulness of government spending
  • 148th for favoritism in decisions of government officials
  • 148th for the efficiency of the legal framework in challenging regulations
  • 148th for the reliability of police services
  • 147th for the transparency of governmeny policymaking (Haiti is considered marginally worse, with 2.6/7, versus Venezuela's 2.7)

Back in 2001, the World Economic Forum placed Venezuela's public institutions at 65th out of 75 nations, two years after Chavez took power.

Venezuela slipped from the world's 51st most competitive country in 1999, to the 54th in 2000 and 66th in 2001. It now ranks as the 134th most competitive of 148 states.

Now the country is worst in the world for nine out of 21 categories, and in many it's still pretty close to the bottom, close to nations like Lebanon, Chad, Yemen and Haiti.