Hernando de Soto has been awarded by the Cato Institute the Milton Friedman Award that grants a prize of $500.000 US Dollars to the to an individual who has made a significant contribution to advance human freedom. Awarded every other year the prize and named to perhaps the most influential economist to advance freedom on the 20th century, Milton Friedman.
The 2002 winner was Lord Peter Bauer because of his contributions to development economics. The bitter sweet prize was a little bit too late, because Lord Bauer passed away shortly after been told about the award. John Blundel former President of Atlas economic Research Foundation and current President of the Institute of Economic Affairs received the prize on behalf of Lord Bauer.
Peter Bauer largely ignored by main stream economists was the hardest critic of foreign aid to developing nations because the horrible consecuences on the local markets and the disastrous effects that led to more dependance and to less development.
Hernando de Soto's first work the Other Path was a breakthrough of the 80's by opening the doors to study the reasons of the informal economy and how they are not the result of market economies, but of the excessive regulation. His second seminal work was on the Mistery of capital in which he argues how important are property rights to promote development of people.
Cheers to Hernando de Soto and his work. Cheers to my friend Enrique Ghersi who in the early 80's was one of the main contributors to De Soto's work as co-author of the Other Path.