Property rights are the most fundamental institution in any society. They determine who has decision-making authority over assets and who bears the costs and benefits of those decisions. They assign ownership, wealth, political influence, and social standing. They make markets possible; define timelines; and provide incentives for investment, innovation, and trade. They mitigate the losses of open access and provide the basis for long-term economic growth. Economists and economic historians have long recognized the importance of secure property rights for economic outcomes.