Ease of doing business index

The ease of doing business index is an index created jointly by Simeon Djankov, Michael Klein and Caralee McLiesh, three leading economists at the World Bank Group. The origins of the idea are described in a 2016 Journal of Economic Perspectives article. The academic research for the report was done jointly with professors Edward Glaeser, Oliver Hart and Andrei Shleifer.[1] Higher rankings (a low numerical value) indicate better, usually simpler, regulations for businesses and stronger protections of property rights. Empirical research funded by the World Bank to justify their work show that the economic growth impact of improving these regulations is strong.[2]

World Bank's Ease of Doing Business index map for 2020
  ≥ 85.0
  80.0–84.9
  75.0–79.9
  0.750–74.9
  0.700–69.9
  0.650–64.9
  0.600–59.9
  0.550–54.9
  0.500–49.9
  30.0–44.9
  35.0–39.9
  30.0–34.9
  ≤ 25.0
  Data unavailable

Methodology

The report is, above all, a benchmark study of regulation. The survey consists of a questionnaire designed by the Doing Business team with the assistance of academic advisers. The questionnaire centers on a simple business case that ensures comparability across economies and over time. The survey also bases assumptions on the legal form of the business, size, location, and nature of its operations.[3] The ease of doing business index is meant to measure regulations directly affecting businesses and does not directly measure more general conditions such as a nation's proximity to large markets, quality of infrastructure, inflation, or crime.

The next step of gathering data surveys of over 12,500 expert contributors (lawyers, accountants, etc.) in 190 countries who deal with business regulations in their day-to-day work. These individuals interact with the Doing Business team in conference calls, written correspondence, and visits by the global team. For the 2017 report, team members visited 34 economies to verify data and to recruit respondents. Data from the survey is subjected to several rounds of verification. The surveys are not a statistical sample, and the results are interpreted and cross-checked for consistency before being included in the report. Results are also validated with the relevant government before publication. Respondents fill out written surveys and provide references to the relevant laws, regulations, and fees based on standardized case scenarios with specific assumptions, such as the business being located in the largest business city of the economy.[3]

A nation's ranking on the index is based on an average of 10 subindices:

  • Starting a business – Procedures, time, cost, and minimum capital to open a new business
  • Dealing with construction permits – Procedures, time, and cost to build a warehouse
  • Getting electricity – procedures, time, and cost required for a business to obtain a permanent electricity connection for a newly constructed warehouse
  • Registering property – Procedures, time, and cost to register commercial real estate
  • Getting credit – Strength of legal rights index, depth of credit information index
  • Protecting investors – Indices on the extent of disclosure, the extent of director liability, and ease of shareholder suits
  • Paying taxes – Number of taxes paid, hours per year spent preparing tax returns, and total tax payable as a share of gross profit
  • Trading across borders – Number of documents, cost, and time necessary to export and import
  • Enforcing contracts – Procedures, time, and cost to enforce a debt contract
  • Resolving insolvency – The time, cost, and recovery rate (%) under a bankruptcy proceeding

The Doing Business project also offers information on the following datasets:

  • Distance to the frontier – Shows the distance of each economy to the "frontier," which represents the highest performance observed on each of the indicators across all economies included since each indicator was included in Doing Business
  • Good practices – Provide insights into how governments have improved the regulatory environment in the past in the areas measured by Doing Business

For example, according to the Doing Business (DB) 2013 report, Canada ranked third on the first subindex "Starting a business" behind only New Zealand and Australia. In Canada, there is 1 procedure required to start a business which takes on average 5 days to complete. The official cost is 0.4% of the gross national income per capita. There is no minimum capital requirement. By contrast, in Chad which ranked among the worst (181st out of 185) on this same subindex, there are 9 procedures required to start a business taking 62 days to complete. The official cost is 202% of the gross national income per capita. A minimum capital investment of 289.4% of the gross national income per capita is required.

While fewer and simpler regulations often imply higher rankings, this is not always the case. Protecting the rights of creditors and investors, as well as establishing or upgrading property and credit registries, may mean that more regulation is needed.

In most indicators, the case study refers to a small domestically-owned manufacturing company—hence the direct relevance of the indicators to foreign investors and large companies is limited. DB uses a simple averaging approach for weighting sub-indicators and calculating rankings. A detailed explanation of every indicator can be found through the DB website and a .xls archive that simulates reforms.

Some caveats regarding the rankings and main information presented have to be considered by every user of the report. Mainly:

  • Doing Business does not measure all aspects of the business environment that matter to firms or investors, such as the macroeconomic conditions, or the level of employment, corruption, stability, or poverty, in every country.
  • Doing Business does not consider the strengths and weaknesses of neither the global financial system, nor the financial system of every country. It also doesn't consider the state of the finances of the government of every country.
  • Doing Business does not cover all the regulations or all the regulatory requirements. Other types of regulation such as financial market, environment, or intellectual property regulations that are relevant for the private sector are not considered.

The Doing Business report is not intended as a complete assessment of competitiveness or the business environment of a country and should rather be considered as a proxy of the regulatory framework faced by the private sector in a country.

History

The Doing Business report has its origins in a paper first published in the Quarterly Journal of Economics by Simeon Djankov, Rafael La Porta, Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes and Andrei Shleifer called "The Regulation of Entry" in 2002. The paper presented data on the regulation of entry of start-up firms in 85 countries covering the number of procedures, official time, and official cost that a start-up must bear before it could operate legally. The main findings of the paper were that: "Countries with heavier regulation of entry have higher corruption and larger unofficial economies, but no better quality of public or private goods. Countries with more democratic and limited governments have lighter regulation of entry." The paper became widely known because it provided quantitative evidence that entry regulation benefits politicians and bureaucrats without adding value to the private sector or granting any additional protection.[4]

Several countries have launched reforms to improve their rankings.[5][6] These efforts are motivated to a great scope by the fact that the World Bank Group publishes the data, and hence coverage by the media and the private sector every year. Also, Doing Business highlights every year the successful reforms carried out by each country. The Regulation of Entry was published, Simeon Djankov and Andrei Shleifer have published nine other academic studies, one for each set of indicators covered by the report.

Over 18 years, 2003 to 2020, the reports recorded nearly 5,000 regulatory reforms implemented by 190 economies.

  • Poland was the global top improver in the past year. It enhanced the ease of doing business through four institutional or regulatory reforms, making it easier to register property, pay taxes, enforce contracts, and resolve insolvency.
  • Worldwide, 108 economies implemented 201 regulatory reforms in 2011/12 making it easier to do business as measured by Doing Business. Reform efforts globally have focused on making it easier to start a new business, increasing the efficiency of tax administration, and facilitating trade across international borders. Of the 201 regulatory reforms recorded in the past year, 44% focused on these 3 policy areas alone.
  • Singapore topped the global ranking on the ease of doing business for the seventh consecutive year, followed by Hong Kong SAR; New Zealand; the United States; and Denmark. Georgia was a new entrant to the top 10.

In 2014 Doing Business covered regulations measured from June 2012 through May 2013 in 189 economies.

  • Singapore is the first economy of the global ranking followed by Hong Kong SAR, New Zealand, the United States, Denmark, Malaysia, South Korea, Georgia, Norway, and the United Kingdom.
  • For the first time data about Libya, Myanmar, San Marino, and South Sudan were collected.
  • 114 economies adopted 238 regulatory reforms in 2012/13 (the reforms increased by 18% compared to the previous year).

In 2015, Doing Business covered regulations measured from June 2013 through June 2014 in 189 economies.[7] For the first time this year, Doing Business collected data for 2 cities in 11 economies with more than 100 million inhabitants. These economies include Bangladesh, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Russian Federation, and the United States. The added city enables a sub-national comparison and benchmarking against other large cities.

Research and influence

As stated in the report, "Empirical research is needed to establish the optimal level of business regulation—for example, what the duration of court procedures should be and what the optimal degree of social protection is. The indicators compiled in the Doing Business project allow such research to take place. Since the start of the project in November 2001, more than 3,000 academic papers have used one or more indicators constructed in Doing Business and the related background papers by its authors."[8] An example of such empirical research is a paper on business regulation and poverty, published in Economics Letters.

More than 3,000 academic papers have used data from the index.[9] The effect of improving regulations on economic growth is claimed to be very strong. Moving from the worst one-fourth of nations to the best one-fourth implies a 2.3 percentage point increase in annual growth. Another 7,000 working papers in economics and social science departments use the data from the Doing Business report. The 2016 Nobel Prize Winner in Economics Oliver Hart is among the authors of such papers.

The various sub-components of the index in themselves provide concrete suggestions for improvement. Many of them may be relatively easy to implement and uncontroversial (except perhaps among corrupt officials who may gain from onerous regulations requiring bribes to bypass). As such, the index has influenced many nations to improve their regulations. Several have explicitly targeted to reach a minimum position on the index, for example, the top 25 list. To consider the element of corruption and transparency in the economy, the index has also been combined with the Corruption Perceptions Index in the annual Best European Countries for Business publication.[10]

Somewhat similar annual reports are the Indices of Economic Freedom and the Global Competitiveness Report. They, especially the latter, look at many more factors that affect economic growth, like inflation and infrastructure. These factors may however be more subjective and diffuse since many are measured using surveys and they may be more difficult to change quickly compared to regulations.

A November 2017 EconTalk podcast explains the lasting influence in academia and policy circles of the Doing Business report.

Doing Business Report

The Doing Business Report (DB) is an annually published report which was developed by a team led by Djankov in 2003. It has been elaborated by the World Bank Group since 2003 every year that is aimed to measure the costs to firms of business regulations in 190 countries. The study has become one of the flagship knowledge products of the World Bank Group in the field of private sector development and is claimed to have motivated the design of several regulatory reforms in developing countries. The study presents every year a detailed analysis of costs, requirements, and procedures a specific type of private firm is subject in all countries, and then, creates rankings for every country. The study is also backed up by broad communication efforts, and by creating rankings, the study spotlights countries and leaders that are promoting reforms.[11]

The DB has been widely known and used by academics, policy-makers, politicians, development experts, journalists, and the business community to highlight red tape and promote reforms. As stated by the IEG study from the World Bank:

"For country authorities, it sheds a bright, sometimes unflattering, light on regulatory aspects of their business climate. For business interests, it has helped to catalyze debates and dialogue about reform. For the World Bank Group, it demonstrates an ability to provide global knowledge, independent of resource transfer and conditionality. The annual exercise generates information that is relevant and useful".

According to the DB, the regulation does matter for the development of the private sectors, and several reforms are suggested across the report to promote the development of the private sector and enable the business environment. Some highlighted findings of the DB are:

  • Lower barriers to start-up are associated with a smaller informal sector.
  • Lower costs of entry encourage entrepreneurship, enhance firm productivity, and reduce corruption.
  • Simple start-up translates into greater employment opportunities.

Contents

In 2017, the study contains quantitative measures of regulations for starting a business, dealing with construction permits, employing workers, registering property, getting credit, protecting investors, taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, getting an electricity connection, and closing a business. As stated in the introduction of the study, "A fundamental premise of DB is that economic activity requires good rules. These include rules that establish and clarify property rights and reduce the costs of resolving disputes, rules that increase the predictability of economic interactions, and rules that provide contractual partners with core protections against abuse."

Evaluation

Doing Business is a controversial study, with passionate critics and devoted fans. As recognized by the Independent Evaluation Group of the World Bank, some have questioned the reliability and objectivity of its measurements while others doubt the relevance of the issues it addresses or fears it may unduly dominate countries reform agendas at the expense of more crucial development objectives. Attention given to the indicators may inadvertently signal that the World Bank Group values less burdensome business regulations more highly than its other strategies for poverty reduction and sustainable development.

Several limitations are present in the DB studies and have to be kept in mind when using the study:

  • The indicators and measures are referred to the costs, requirements, and fees of doing business in the country's largest business city; thus conditions elsewhere within the country may differ.
  • To achieve cross-country standardization respondents are asked to give estimates for a limited liability company of a specific size. Costs for other forms and scales of businesses may differ.
  • Transactions and fees to have cost out are very specifically defined. The costs of other types of transactions may differ.
  • The cost estimates come from individuals identified as expert respondents. Sometimes the estimates given by such individuals may differ with other experts and with public officials. If so, the responses are cross-checked for consistency.
  • The estimates assume that a business knows what is required and does not waste time. Satisfying regulatory requirements will take longer if the business lacks information or is unable to follow up promptly. A related point here is that DB does not allow for "workarounds", "facilitating fees", and "learning time" that speed or delay approvals and causes variation costs.

Published now for seventeen years, the DB has originated a growing body of research on how performance on DB indicators, and reforms generated by the reports, related to specific development desirable outcomes. As stated by the DB 2010, about "405 articles have been published in peer-reviewed academic journals, and about 1143 working papers are available through Google Scholar".

DB has been widely used as a study to measure competitiveness. However, regulation rather than competitiveness is the main objective in the DB. Other studies that are also used to measure competitiveness and recognized as business enabling environment ranking systems are the Global Competitiveness Index, the Index of Economic Freedom, and the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, among others.[12]

Controversies

2018 manipulation scandal

On 12 January 2018, Paul Romer, the World Bank's chief economist, announced that past releases of the index would be corrected and recalculated going back at least four years. Romer apologized to Chile, saying that the former director of the group responsible for the index had repeatedly manipulated its methodology, unfairly penalizing the country's rankings during the administration of left-wing President Michelle Bachelet. In response, Bachelet announced that Chile would formally request a complete investigation by the World Bank.[13][14]

2020 data irregularities controversy

Several major newspapers – including the Financial Times, The Economist, and The Wall Street Journal – report that the data of China, Azerbaijan, United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia among others were suspected to be “inappropriately altered” in the 2020 Doing Business publication.[15][16][17] In light of the data irregularities found in both the 2018 and 2020 reports, the World Bank announced on 27 August 2020 that it would pause the Doing Business publication while it conducts a review of data changes for the last five reports and an internal audit of data integrity.[18]

Following these revelations, some organizations paused the use of Doing Business data, and supplemented these reports with data from alternative indicators measuring the same concepts.[19] On December 16, 2020 the World Bank released 3 reports about the conclusions of the reviews examining the data irregularities:[20]

  • A review of the specific irregularities identified.[20]
  • An independent confirmation of these irregularities.[20]
  • An independent review of Doing Business's processes for data production and management.[21]

These reviews found that, while the specific issues uncovered in this breach had been addressed, a culture where management pressured experts to manipulate data persisted: "The DB team members reported undue pressure, both directly and indirectly by Bank management to manipulate data in 2017 during the 2018 report production process and in 2019 during the 2020 report production process. The lack of a safe speak-up environment within the DB team led to a fear of retaliation for those who would escalate and report pressures to manipulate data. This contributed to the compromise of data integrity in the DB report."[21] These reports also found that over half of Doing Business staff interviewed admitted to manipulating data.[22]

Ranking

The most recent rankings come from the "Doing Business 2020" report. Ranking of economies was introduced in the "Doing Business 2006" report.[23]

New Zealand has topped the Ease of Doing Business rankings in 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.

Singapore topped the Ease of Doing Business rankings in 2007–2016.[24] Based on Singapore's experience, IDA International is collaborating with public agencies in several countries in the areas such as ICT strategy, national Infocomm planning and solutions implementation that can help increase the ease of doing business. One interesting fact is that although richer countries on average are ranked higher than poor countries, there are some remarkable exceptions, particularly oil-rich countries. For example Kuwait (ranked 83), Qatar (ranked 77), Oman (ranked 68) Saudi Arabia (ranked 62). Compare to lower-income countries: India (ranked 63), Kenya (ranked 56), Colombia (ranked 67), Uzbekistan (ranked 69). Notable exceptions are Norway (ranked 9) and the United Arab Emirates (ranked 16).[25]

Classification Jurisdiction 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006
Very Easy  New Zealand 111122333322221
Very Easy  Singapore 222211111111112
Very Easy  Hong Kong 345453222234457
Very Easy  Denmark 433334555665578
Very Easy  South Korea 554545788161923302327
Very Easy  United States 686877444543333
Very Easy  Georgia 76916241589161211151837100
Very Easy  United Kingdom 8977681077456669
Very Easy  Norway 978696966810101195
Very Easy  Sweden 1012109811141314141817141314
Very Easy  Lithuania 111416212024172727232628261615
Very Easy  Malaysia 12152423181861218212320242521
Very Easy  Mauritius 132025493228201923201724273223
Very Easy  Australia 1418141513101110151099986
Very Easy  Taiwan 151315111119161625334661504735
Very Easy  United Arab Emirates 161121263122232633403346687769
Very Easy  North Macedonia 171011101230252322383271759281
Very Easy  Estonia 181612121617222124172422171716
Very Easy  Latvia 191919142223242521242729222426
Very Easy  Finland 20171313109121111131614131413
Very Easy  Thailand 212726464926181817191213151820
Very Easy  Germany 222420171514212019222525202119
Very Easy  Canada 232218221416191713788744
Very Easy  Ireland 24231718171315151097781011
Very Easy  Kazakhstan 252836354177504947596370716386
Very Easy  Iceland 26212320191213149151411101212
Very Easy  Austria 272622192121302932322827253032
Very Easy  Russia 283135405162921121201231201201069679
Very Easy  Japan 293934343429272420181512121110
Very Easy  Spain 303028323333524444496249383930
Very Easy  China 3146787884*90969191798983839391
Very Easy  France 323231292731383429263131313544
Very Easy  Turkey 334360695555697171657359579193
Very Easy  Azerbaijan 342557656380706766543833969998
Very Easy  Israel 354954525340353834292930292629
Very Easy   Switzerland 363833312620292826272121161517
Very Easy  Slovenia 3740373029*51333537425354556163
Very Easy  Rwanda 3829415662463252455867139150158139
Very Easy  Portugal 393429252325313030314848374042
Very Easy  Poland 403327242532455562707276747554
Very Easy  Czech Republic 413530273644756564637475565241
Very Easy  Netherlands 423632282827283131303026212224
Very Easy  Bahrain 436266636553464238282018N/AN/AN/A
Very Easy  Serbia 444843485991938692898894866892**
Very Easy  Slovakia 4542393329*37494648414236323637
Very Easy  Belgium 464552424342363328252219192018
Very Easy  Armenia 474147383545373255484344393446
Very Easy  Moldova 48474444526378838190941039210383
Very Easy  Belarus 493738374457635869685885110129106
Very Easy  Montenegro 505042514636445156667190817092**
Very Easy  Croatia 5158514340658984808410310697124118
Very Easy  Hungary 525348414254545451464741456652
Very Easy  Morocco 536069687571879794114128128129115102
Easy  Cyprus 5457534547643936403740N/AN/AN/AN/A
Easy  Romania 555245363748737272565547484978
Easy  Kenya 56618092108136129121109989582728368
Easy  Kosovo 5744406066758698117119113N/AN/AN/AN/A
Easy  Italy 585146504556657387807865538270
Easy  Chile 595655574841343739434940332825
Easy  Mexico 6054494738*39534853355156444373
Easy  Bulgaria 6159503938*38586659514445465462
Easy  Saudi Arabia 629292948249262212111316233838
Easy  India 6377100130130142134132132134133122120134116
Easy  Ukraine 647176808396112137152145142145139128124
Easy  Puerto Rico 656464555747404143473535281922
Easy  Brunei 6655567284*101597983112968878N/AN/A
Easy  Colombia 676559535434434542393753667966
Easy  Oman 687871667066474749576557495551
Easy  Uzbekistan 6976748787141146154166150150138138147138
Easy  Vietnam 7069688290789999987893929110499
Easy  Jamaica 717570676458949088817563635043
Easy  Luxembourg 72666359615960565045645042N/AN/A
Easy  Indonesia 73737291109114120128129121122129123135115
Easy  Costa Rica 74676162588310211012112512111711510589
Easy  Jordan 7510410311811311711910696111100101807874
Easy  Peru 766858545035424341365662586571
Easy  Qatar 778383836850484036503937N/AN/AN/A
Easy  Tunisia 788088777460515046556973888058
Easy  Greece 79726761606172781001091099610010980
Easy  Kyrgyzstan 8070777567102687070444168949084
Easy  Mongolia 817462645672767686736058524561
Easy  Albania 8263655897*68908582828286136120117
Easy  Kuwait 839796102101*861048267746152404647
Easy  South Africa 848282747343413935343432352928
Easy  Zambia 8587859897*111839484769010011610267
Easy  Panama 867979706952556161727781658157
Easy  Botswana 878681717274565954524538514840
Easy  Malta 888484768094103102N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Easy  Bhutan 8981757371125141148142142126124119138104
Easy  Bosnia and Herzegovina 90898681791071311261251101161191059587
Easy  El Salvador 9185739586109118113112868472697176
Easy  San Marino 92889379769381N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Easy  Saint Lucia 93939186771006453525336343427N/A
Easy    Nepal 941101051079910810510810711612312111110055
Easy  Philippines 951241139910395108138136148144140133126113
Easy  Guatemala 969897888173799397101110112114118109
Easy  Togo 97137156154150149157156162160165163156151149
Medium  Samoa 989087899667615760615764614139
Medium  Sri Lanka 99100111110107998581891021051021018975
Medium  Seychelles 10096959395858074103951111049084N/A
Medium  Uruguay 1019594909282888990124114109986485
Medium  Fiji 1021011019788*81626077625439363134
Medium  Tonga 1039189857869576258715243475136
Medium  Namibia 104107106109101*88988778696651434233
Medium  Trinidad and Tobago 1051051029688*796669689781806759N/A
Medium  Tajikistan 106126123128132166143141147139152159153133N/A
Medium  Vanuatu 1079490849476748076605960625849
Medium  Pakistan 108136147144138128*110107105838577767460
Medium  Malawi 10911111013314116417115714513313213412711096
Medium  Côte d'Ivoire 110122139142142147167177167169168161155141145
Medium  Dominica 111103981019197*7768658883747772N/A
Medium  Djibouti 11299154171171155160171170158163153146161N/A
Medium  Antigua and Barbuda 113112107113104897163576450424133N/A
Medium  Egypt 11412012812213111212810911094106114126165141
Medium  Dominican Republic 11510299103938411711610891869799117103
Medium  Uganda 11612712211512215013212012312211211111810772
Medium  Palestine 117116114140129143138135131135139131117127125
Medium  Ghana 118114120108114*70676463679287879482
Medium  Bahamas 11911811912110697*847785776855N/AN/AN/A
Medium  Papua New Guinea 12010810911914513311310410110310295845764
Medium  Eswatini 1211171121111051101231231241181151089576N/A
Medium  Lesotho 122106104100114*128*13613614313813012312411497
Medium  Senegal 123141140147153161178166154152157149162146132
Medium  Brazil 124109125123116120116130126127129125122121119
Medium  Paraguay 1251131081061009210910310210612411510311288
Medium  Argentina 12611911711612112412612411311511811310910177
Medium  Iran 127128124120118130152145144129137142135119108
Medium  Barbados 1281291321171191069188N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Medium  Ecuador 129123118114117115135139130130138136128123107
Medium  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1301301291251111038275757570665485N/A
Medium  Nigeria 13114614516916917014713113313712511810810894
Medium  Niger 132143144150160168176176173173174172169160150
Medium  Honduras 133121115105110104*127125128131141133121111112
Medium  Guyana 134134126124137123115114114100101105104136105
Medium  Belize 135125121112120118106105939980785956N/A
Medium  Solomon Islands 136115116104112879792749610489796953
Medium  Cape Verde 137131127129126122121122119132146143132125N/A
Medium  Mozambique 138135138137133127139146139126135141134140110
Medium  Saint Kitts and Nevis 13914013413412412110196958776676444N/A
Medium  Zimbabwe 140155159161155171170173171157159158152153126
Medium  Tanzania 141144137132139131145134127128131127130142140
Medium  Nicaragua 142132131127125119124119118117117107936759
Medium  Lebanon 143142133126123104*11111510411310899858695
Medium  Cambodia 144138135131127135137133138147145135145143133
Medium  Palau 14513313013613611310011111612097918262N/A
Medium  Grenada 146147142138135126107100739291847073N/A
Medium  Maldives 147139136135128116959579858769605331
Below Average  Mali 148145143141143*146155151146153156166158155146
Below Average  Benin 149153151155158151174175175170172169151137129
Below Average  Bolivia 150156152149157157162155153149161150140131111
Below Average  Burkina Faso 151151148146143*167154153150151147148161163154
Below Average  Mauritania 152148150160168176173167159165166160157148127
Below Average  Marshall Islands 1531501491431401391141011061089893898748
Below Average  Laos 154154141139134148159163165171167165164159147
Below Average  Gambia 155149146145151138150147149146140130131113N/A
Below Average  Guinea 156152153163165169175178179179173171166157144
Below Average  Algeria 157157166156163154153152148136136132125116128
Below Average  Micronesia 15816015515114814515615014014112712611210656
Below Average  Ethiopia 15915916115914613212512711110410711610297101
Below Average  Comoros 160164158153154159158158157159162155146144N/A
Below Average  Madagascar 161161162167164163148142137140134144149149131
Below Average  Suriname 162165165158156162161164158161155146142122N/A
Below Average  Sierra Leone 163163160148147140142140141143148156160168136
Below Average  Kiribati 164158157152149134122117115937979736045
Below Average  Myanmar 165172171170167177182N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Below Average  Burundi 166168164157152152140159169181176177174166143
Below Average  Cameroon 167166163166172158168161161168171164154152130
Below Average  Bangladesh 1681761771761741731301291221071191101078865
Below Average  Gabon 169169167164162144163170156156158151144132N/A
Below Average  São Tomé and Príncipe 170170169162166153169160163178180176163169123
Below Average  Sudan 171162170168159160149143135154154147143154151
Below Average  Iraq 172171168165161156151165164166153152141145114
Below Average  Afghanistan 173167183183177183164168160167160162159162122
Below Average  Guinea-Bissau 174175176172178179180179176176181179176173N/A
Below Average  Liberia 175174172174179174144149151155149157170N/AN/A
Below Average  Syria 176179174173175175165144134144143137137130121
Below Average  Angola 177173175182181181179172172163169168167156135
Below Average  Equatorial Guinea 178177173178180165166162155164170165165150N/A
Below Average  Haiti 179182181181182180177174174162151154148139134
Below Average  Congo 180180179177176178185183181177179178175171148
Below Average  Timor Leste 181178178175173172172169168174164170168174142
Below Average  Chad 182181180180183185189184183183178175173172152
Below Average  Democratic Republic of Congo 183184182184184184183181178175182181178175155
Below Average  Central African Republic 184183184185185187188185182182183180177167153
Below Average  South Sudan 185185187186187186186N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Below Average  Libya 186186185188188188187N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Below Average  Yemen 1871871861791701371331189910599981139890
Below Average  Venezuela 188188188187186182181180177172177174172164120
Below Average  Eritrea 189189189189189189184182180180175173171170137
Below Average  Somalia 190190190190N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A

* – same rank is for multiple jurisdictions
** – the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro

Note: Rankings at the time of annual report publication. Rankings are subject to revision.

Reception

The Doing Business methodology regarding labor regulations was criticized by the International Trade Union Confederation because it favored flexible employment regulations.[26] In early reports, the easier it was to dismiss a worker for economic reasons in a country, the more its rankings improved. The Employing Workers index was revised in Doing Business 2008 to be in full compliance with the 188 International Labour Organization conventions. It has subsequently been removed from the rankings. The ITUC debuted the Global Rights Index in 2014 as a response to the Doing Business report.[27]

In 2008 the World Bank Group's Independent Evaluation Group, a semi-independent watchdog within the World Bank Group, published an evaluation of the Doing Business index.[28] The report, Doing Business: An Independent Evaluation, contained both praise and criticism of Doing Business. The report recommended that the index be clearer about what is and is not measured, disclose changes to published data, recruit more informants, and simplify the Paying Taxes indicator.

In April 2009 the World Bank issued a note with revisions to the Employing Workers index.[29] The note explained that scoring for the "Employing Workers" indicator would be updated in Doing Business 2010 to give favorable scores for complying with relevant ILO conventions. The Employing Workers indicator was also removed as a guidepost for Country Policy and Institutional Assessments, which help determine resources provided to IDA countries.

A study commissioned by the Norwegian government alleges methodological weaknesses, an uncertainty in the ability of the indicators to capture the underlying business climate, and a general worry that many countries may find it easier to change their ranking in Doing Business than to change the underlying business environment.[30]

In 2013, an independent panel appointed by the President of the World Bank and headed by Trevor Manuel of South Africa issued a review expressing concern about the potential for the report and index to be misinterpreted, and the narrowness of the indicators and information base. It recommended that the report be retained, but that the aggregate rankings be removed and that a peer-review process is implemented (among other things). Regarding the topics of Paying Taxes and Employing Workers, it noted that "The latter has already been excluded from the report's rankings. While there is a persuasive case for paying attention to these aspects of doing business, the Bank will need to carefully consider the correct way to assess the regulation and legal environment of these areas if these indicators are to be retained."[31]

In 2018, another independent evaluation was commissioned by the World Bank Group. The evaluation praised the Doing Business report for its objectivity and focus on regulatory reform. It suggested adding peer-reviewed research papers behind every set of indicators. Subsequently the World Bank has added one such research article, underlying the indicator on property registration

See also

References

  1. "Doing Business - Measuring Business Regulations - World Bank Group". Doing Business. 30 December 2011. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  2. "Doing Business report series – World Bank Group". Doingbusiness.org. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  3. "Improvements made to methodology this year - Doing Business - World Bank Group". www.doingbusiness.org. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
  4. Djankov, Simeon, et al., "The Regulation of Entry", The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol.CXVII February 2002, Issue I
  5. "Time to make in India?". The Economist. 25 September 2014. ISSN 0013-0613. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
  6. "Ranking the rankings". The Economist. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
  7. "Doing Business 2015, World Bank. Published: October 29, 2014".
  8. Ease of doing business, Page 111.
  9. "Doing Business and related research - World Bank Group". Doingbusiness.org. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  10. "Best European Countries for Business 2020". EuCham - European Chamber. Retrieved 30 January 2021.
  11. World Bank: "Doing Business 2010", World Bank Group, 2010, U.S.A.
  12. Snodgrass, Donald, "Alternative Business Enabling Environment Rankings. A Review", USAID / Business Growth Initiative, USAID
  13. "Chile slams World Bank for bias in competitiveness rankings". Reuters. 2018.
  14. Zumbrun, Josh; Talley, Ian (12 January 2018). "World Bank Unfairly Influenced Its Own Competitiveness Rankings". The Wall Street Journal.
  15. "World Bank suspends its business climate index over data irregularities". Financial Times. 28 August 2020.
  16. "The World Bank's business-rankings mess". The Economist. 3 September 2020.
  17. Zumbrun, Josh (27 August 2020). "World Bank Halts Report on National Competitiveness Rankings Amid Concerns of Data Manipulation". The Wall Street Journal.
  18. "Doing Business – Data Irregularities Statement". The World Bank. 27 August 2020.
  19. Millennium Challenge Corporation. "Assessing performanceon the Access to Credit, Business Start-Up, and Land Rights and Access Indicators". In light of the World Bank’s announcement, MCC is taking additional steps to provide the Board with supplemental information on country performance on the areas measured by the affected scorecard indicators.
  20. World Bank. "World Bank Group Statement on Doing Business Corrections and Findings of Internal Audit".
  21. World Bank Group. "Data Integrity in Production Process of the Doing Business Report : Assurance Review".
  22. World Bank Group. "Data Integrity in Production Process of the Doing Business Report : Assurance Review". Out of the 15 staff in the DB team interviewed by GIA, 9 staff indicated that they had been directly or indirectly pressured to manipulate data. Out of the 9 staff who reported being pressured, 8 staff said they manipulated data
  23. "Doing Business 2018 - Equal Opportunity for All - World Bank Group". www.doingbusiness.org.
  24. "Singapore Tops World Bank Survey". Bloomberg. Retrieved 23 August 2011.
  25. "Rankings". World Bank. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  26. "ITUC-CSI-IGB – International Trade Union Confederation". Ituc-csi.org. 14 December 2006. Retrieved 27 June 2012.
  27. Tamara Gausi (21 May 2014). New Global Index Elevates Workers' Rights over "Doing Business". Equal Times. Retrieved 30 May 2014; see also: ITUC Global Rights Index: The world's worst countries for workers.
  28. "Doing Business – Doing Business: An Independent Evaluation". Web.worldbank.org. 26 June 2008. Archived from the original on 16 January 2011. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
  29. "EWI Revisions". Doingbusiness.org. Retrieved 27 June 2012.
  30. "Be careful when Doing Business" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 July 2011. Retrieved 27 June 2012.
  31. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 August 2018. Retrieved 25 September 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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