The Road Less Traveled of Business Regulatory Reform

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doingbusinesssa07.JPGAccording to the World Bank's Doing Business 2007, the four steps to successful business regulatory reform;

• Start simple and consider administrative reforms that don’t need legislative changes.
• Cut unnecessary procedures, reducing the number of bureaucrats entrepreneurs interact with.
• Introduce standard application forms and publish as much regulatory information as possible.
• And remember: many of the frustrations for businesses come from how regulations are administered. The internet alleviates these frustrations without changing the spirit of the regulation

More on the report from the preface;

“Regulations affecting 10 areas of everyday business are measured: starting a business, dealing with licenses, employing workers, registering property, getting credit, protecting investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and closing a business. The indicators are used to analyze economic outcomes and identify what reforms have worked, where and why.

The methodology has limitations. Other areas important to business—such as a country’s proximity to large markets, quality of infrastructure services (other than services related to trading across borders), the security of property from theft and looting, the transparency of government procurement, macroeconomic conditions or the underlying strength of institutions—are not studied directly by Doing Business. To make the data comparable across countries, the indicators refer to a specific type of business—generally a limited liability company operating in the largest business city.

The methodology for 4 of the Doing Business topics changed in this edition. For paying taxes, the total tax rate now includes all labor contributions paid by the employer and excludes consumption taxes. For enforcing contracts, the case study was revised to reflect a typical contractual dispute over the quality of goods rather than a simple debt default. For trading across borders, Doing Business now reports the cost associated with exporting and importing cargo in addition to the time and number of documents required. And for employing workers, nonwage labor costs are no longer included in the calculation of the ease of employing workers. For these reasons— as well as the addition of 20 new economies—last year’s rankings on the ease of doing business are recalculated using the new methodology and reported in the Overview.”

Singapore is the number one in the rankings- coincidently the World Bank-IMF annual meetings are also being held in Singapore this month. It is interesting that Singapore (not a democratic country according to Acemoglu) beat more deomcratic countries like Australia in the rankings.

As for a lot of the other poor countries, there is a sense in these countries that a lot of the wealth has been generated through either corruption or unfair competition. May be one need to take a hard look at some of the local partners of the Doing Business survey for their independence.

Quick Links;
The Doing Business Law Library
Create their own custom dataset of main indices
Local Partners
Economy Rankings
Explore Economies
Economy Characteristics

Blog coverage of the report- PSD Blog, New Economist, Greg Mankiw, Econlog, Pienso.

Doing Business and Poverty Reduction

Does Doing Business suck?

Business Regulation measure

Measuring Labor Market Flexibility

MI Indexes

Doing Business in 2006: Creating Jobs-online discussion

How Should States Encourage Entrepreneurship?
"At the heart of this public policy issue are two competing views of how to facilitate entrepreneurship. For some policymakers encouraging entrepreneurship involves improving the entrepreneurial climate through the lowering of tax and regulatory burdens. This view is consistent with a large body of academic literature showing that a good way to encourage entrepreneurship is to provide individuals with the freedom to pursue their dreams. Other policymakers focus on the financial constraints facing would-be entrepreneurs and how public policy can mitigate the financial hurdles to entrepreneurship. State financing of venture capital firms is consistent with this view."

Podcast of news from the World Bank on the Doing Business 2007
The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else; I would also highly recommed de Soto's book, 'The Other Path'
How to Reform the Business Environment ; highly recommended especially comments by Egyptian minister.
Doing Business in 2006: Creating Jobs- Book Event at Cato
Doing Business in India Today: McDonalds Experience Entering the Indian Market

Related Bank Publications
Doing business in 2006 - creating jobs
Doing Business in 2005
Doing business in 2004 : understanding regulation
Doing business in South Asia in 2005
Doing business in 2005: comparing the Cambodian business environment with the world
Doing business in 2005 : India regional profile
Ukraine - Cost of doing business survey, 2002
Latvia : self-assessment report on administrative barriers to doing business
Perceived obstacles to doing business: worldwide survey results
Doing better business through effective public consultation and disclosure : a good practice manual
Doing business in Brazil
Doing business in Mexico
Despite many reforms, doing business is still not easy in Vietnam
Institutional obstacles to doing business : region-by-region results from a worldwide survey of the private sector

*updated 8th September, 2006

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This page contains a single entry by Paul published on September 7, 2006 1:11 AM.

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