Business Regulation and Economic Development
By Arnold Kling
A World Bank Study is filled with information on the cost of doing business in various countries. For example, they rank countries using an overall index.
New Zealand has the most business-friendly regulation in the world, as measured by the Doing Business indicators (table 1.2). Singapore is the runner-up. The United States is third. Five other East Asian countries–Hong Kong (China), Japan, Thailand, Malaysia and Korea–are among the top 30. So are the Baltic countries–Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia. Their ranking is a remarkable achievement, as only a decade has passed since they first began reforms.
But the rankings on the ease of doing business also show that many reformers still have a long way to go. Although Eastern Europe was the top reforming region, some of its countries still rank poorly on the ease of doing business. For example, Serbia and Montenegro’s rank is 92, Croatia’s is 118 and Ukraine’s 124. Egypt, another top reformer in 2004, ranks 141. And India, though making big gains on collateral recovery and ease of registering property, ranks 116–25 places behind China.
Thanks to Greg Mankiw for the pointer.
UPDATE*** An alert commenter points out that the above refers to last year’s report. The latest report is here. Greg also quoted last year’s report, and he had to update his post as well.