FACTOID # 2: Puerto Rico has roughly the same gross state product as Montana, Wyoming and North Dakota combined.
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Encyclopedia > Ease of Doing Business Index
World map of the Ease of Doing Business Index. Green nations rank higher, red nations lower. Each color represent one quartile of the ranked nations.
World map of the Ease of Doing Business Index. Green nations rank higher, red nations lower. Each color represent one quartile of the ranked nations.

The Ease of Doing Business Index is an index created by the World Bank.[1] Higher rankings indicate better, usually simpler, regulations for businesses and stronger protections of property rights. Research shows that the effect of improving these regulations on economic growth is very strong. In descriptive statistics, a quartile is any of the three values which divide the sorted data set into four equal parts, so that each part represents 1/4th of the sample or population. ... Logo of the World Bank The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD, in Romance languages: BIRD), better known as the World Bank, is an international organization whose original mission was to finance the reconstruction of nations devastated by WWII. Now, its mission has expanded to fight poverty by means...


The index is based on the study of laws and regulations and with the input and verification by more than 3,500 government officials, lawyers, business consultants, accountants and other professionals routinely administering or advising on legal and regulatory requirements.

The Ease of Doing Business index is meant to measure regulations directly affecting businesses and do not directly measure more general conditions such as a nation's proximity to large markets, quality of infrastructure, inflation, and crime. A nations ranking on the index is based on the average of 10 subindices. They are:

  • Starting a business - Procedures, time, cost and minimum capital to open a new business
  • Dealing with licenses - Procedures, time and cost of business inspections and licensing (construction industry)
  • Hiring and firing workers - Difficulty of hiring index, rigidity of hours of index, difficulty of firing index, hiring cost and firing cost
  • 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, 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 share of gross profit
  • Trading across borders - Number of documents, number of signatures and time necessary to export and import
  • Enforcing contracts - Procedures, time and cost to enforce a debt contract
  • Closing a business - Time and cost to close down a business, and recovery rate[2]

Looking at an exmaple: In Australia, the best performing nation on the first subindex "Starting a business", there are 2 procedures required to start a business and taking on average 2 days to complete. The official cost is 1.8% of the Gross National Income per capita. There are no minimum capital requred. In Guinea-Bissau, the second worst performing nation on the first subindex, there are 17 procedures required to start a business taking 233 days to complete. The official cost is 261.2% of the gross national income per capita. A minimum capital of 1,028.9% of the gross national income per capita is required. Per capita is a Latin phrase meaning for each head. ...

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

Research and influence

More than 200 academic papers have used data from the index.[3] The effect of improving regulations on economic growth is 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. [4]

The various subcomponents 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. In 2005-2005 there were 213 reforms in 112 economies. The 10 top reformers was Georgia, Romania, Mexico, China, Peru, France, Croatia, Guatemala, Ghana, and Tanzania. Several nations did the opposte. They include Bolivia, Eritrea, Hungary, Timor-Leste, Uzbekistan, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.[5] Bribery is the practice of offering a professional money or other favours in order to circumvent ethics in a variety of professions. ...

The correlations between the subindices are low, which suggest that countries rarely score universally well or universally badly on the indicators. In other words, there is usually much room for partial reform even in the best ranking nations.[6]


Detailed description of each nation can be found at: http://www.doingbusiness.org/ExploreEconomies/

1 Singapore
2 New Zealand
3 United States
4 Canada
5 Hong Kong, China
6 United Kingdom
7 Denmark
8 Australia
9 Norway
10 Ireland
11 Japan
12 Iceland
13 Sweden
14 Finland
15 Switzerland
16 Lithuania
17 Estonia
18 Thailand
19 Puerto Rico
20 Belgium
21 Germany
22 Netherlands
23 Korea
24 Latvia
25 Malaysia
26 Israel
27 St. Lucia
28 Chile
29 South Africa
30 Austria
31 Fiji
32 Mauritius
33 Antigua and Barbuda
34 Armenia
35 France
36 Slovak Republic
37 Georgia
38 Saudi Arabia
39 Spain
40 Portugal
41 Samoa
42 Namibia
43 Mexico
44 St. Vincent and the Grenadines
45 Mongolia
46 Kuwait
47 Taiwan, China
48 Botswana
49 Romania
50 Jamaica
51 Tonga
52 Czech Republic
53 Maldives
54 Bulgaria
55 Oman
56 Belize
57 Papua New Guinea
58 Vanuatu
59 Trinidad and Tobago
60 Kiribati
61 Slovenia
62 Palau
63 Kazakhstan
64 Uruguay
65 Peru
66 Hungary
67 Nicaragua
68 Serbia
69 Solomon Islands
70 Montenegro
71 El Salvador
72 Dominica
73 Grenada
74 Pakistan
75 Poland
76 Swaziland
77 United Arab Emirates
78 Jordan
79 Colombia
80 Tunisia
81 Panama
82 Italy
83 Kenya
84 Seychelles
85 St. Kitts and Nevis
86 Lebanon
87 Marshall Islands
88 Bangladesh
89 Sri Lanka
90 Kyrgyz Republic
91 Turkey
92 Macedonia
93 China
94 Ghana
95 Bosnia and Herzegovina
96 Russia
97 Ethiopia
98 Yemen
99 Azerbaijan
100 Nepal
101 Argentina
102 Zambia
103 Moldova
104 Vietnam
105 Costa Rica
106 Micronesia
107 Uganda
108 Nigeria
109 Greece
110 Malawi
111 Honduras
112 Paraguay
113 Gambia, The
114 Lesotho
115 Morocco
116 Algeria
117 Dominican Republic
118 Guatemala
119 Iran
120 Albania
121 Brazil
122 Suriname
123 Ecuador
124 Croatia
125 Cape Verde
126 Philippines
127 West Bank and Gaza
128 Ukraine
129 Belarus
130 Syria
131 Bolivia
132 Gabon
133 Tajikistan
134 India
135 Indonesia
136 Guyana
137 Benin
138 Bhutan
139 Haiti
140 Mozambique
141 Côte d'Ivoire
142 Tanzania
143 Cambodia
144 Comoros
145 Iraq
146 Senegal
147 Uzbekistan
148 Mauritania
149 Madagascar
150 Equatorial Guinea
151 Togo
152 Cameroon
153 Zimbabwe
154 Sudan
155 Mali
156 Angola
157 Guinea
159 Lao PDR
160 Niger
161 Djibouti
162 Afghanistan
163 Burkina Faso
164 Venezuela
165 Egypt
166 Burundi
167 Central African Republic
168 Sierra Leone
169 São Tomé and Principe
170 Eritrea
171 Republic of Congo
172 Chad
173 Guinea-Bissau
174 Timor-Leste
175 Democratic Republic of the Congo
The world Lists of countries with rankings *Includes map





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