Fifteen Years of Doing Business: Opportunities for Future Directions
The Doing Business Indicators are arguably the most influential and most consequential product of the World Bank Group. Every year, Doing Business attracts high level political and policy attention. International development requires policy change and policy dialogue; the Doing Business indicators and the related country rankings have been the ultimate “policy dialogue icebreaker” over the past 15 years. These indicators are not perfect and there have been adjustments made to them over time.
The indicators neither demonstrate the total health of an economy nor all of the challenges faced by an economy. However, the sophisticated data analytics and the ranking of countries has led to immense policy changes across the globe, which has made it easier to start a business and participate in the formal economy. This means that more businesses are paying taxes. In addition, formal businesses adhere to environmental and labor rules. Studies have shown that the greater the ease of starting a business has led to higher rates of entrepreneurial activity in an economy. Doing Business has always attracted scrutiny and has been in the news recently. Given the 15 years of Doing Business, now is the time to review the totality of its accomplishments, address controversies, and chart a pathway for its future.
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