This paper presents the first ever set of indices of political and civil rights and land rights in Ethiopia spanning more than a century. We have extracted information from legal texts and historical records. Then we quantified legislative developments in an attempt to objectively measure de jure political and economic institutions over the existence of the modern Ethiopian state. The results show that political institutions have improved gradually even though there is a tendency of retracting some rights recently. Land rights have never been more extensive than in the 1960s. The land reform of the late 1970s achieved a more equitable distribution of land at the expense of a shrinking set of rights.