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Submitted by Jackie Coolidge on
This is an interesting and useful topic, but I see two main issues in this posting: First, I would question the notion that business owners should be equated with children, or that government bureaucrats (or World Bank bureaucrats for that matter) are superior in assessing what should be the priorities for reforms to improve the investment climate. Of course, investor's opinions should never be considered the "last word" on the subject - they will always ask for lower taxes no matter how low they are already; but it's hard to imagine that their opinions should not be considered at all. Second, it is important to avoid confusing a poor questionnaire design with a whole methodology. If a questionnaire offers only a list of a dozen or two potential "problems" and fails to address the concerns of businesspeople in a particular country at a particular point in time, the survey respondents are likely to gravitate toward whatever response seems closest to their real concerns. Thus frustration over electricity outages might get picked up by anything on the list that mentions electricity. This doesn't mean you shouldn't survey business people; rather it suggests that the questionnaire should be improved (in this case, more tailored to the circumstances and less "generic").