WASHINGTON, April 1 (UPI) -- Peruvian economist and author Hernando de Soto is the winner of this year's $500,000 Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty.
The prize, named in honor of Nobel laureate Milton Friedman, is given every two years to an individual who is deemed to have made a significant contribution to advancing human freedom.
De Soto called winning the prize, "an enormous honor for me and my associates who worked, and in some cases, died for the cause of liberty." A native of Peru, de Soto's work focuses on the idea that a lack of formal property rights is the source of poverty in poor countries.
The first Friedman Prize, which is awarded by the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank located in Washington, D.C., went to the late British economist Peter Bauer in 2002.