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Doing Business methodology updates

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The World Bank Group’s Doing Business project provides objective measures of business regulations and their implementation across economies worldwide and selected cities at the subnational and regional level. The first Doing Business report, published in 2003, covered five indicator sets and 133 economies. The most recent report published in late 2013 covered 11 indicator sets and 189 economies.

As with most key international indicator sets, Doing Business has come a long way since its inception in 2002/2003 and continues to be a work in progress. The report team works to improve the methodology each year and to enhance their data collection, analysis and output. 

The project has benefited from feedback from many stakeholders over the years, including governments, academics, economists, lawyers, and policymakers. With a key goal “to provide an objective basis for understanding and improving the local regulatory environment for business around the world,” the project has been through rigorous reviews by both internal and external entities.  Most recently, the President of the World Bank Group, Jim Yong Kim, appointed an independent panel of experts to conduct a review of the report, its methodology and approach. The panel findings were published in June 2013 and have helped shape this current phase of the Doing Business project.

In another positive development, in November 2013, Kaushik Basu, Chief Economist of the World Bank and Senior Vice President, Development Economics, took on the responsibility of providing leadership and oversight of the Doing Business report production.

The Doing Business team is currently working on exciting new methodology updates that will enhance the report and its operational scope and relevance. These updates will be implemented over the next two years; the first changes will appear in the next report, Doing Business 2015, which is slated to launch in October 2014.

Over the years, the report's findings have stimulated policy debates worldwide and catalyzed research on how firm-level regulation relates to economic outcomes across economies. Doing Business will continue to provide a lens with which to view business climate environments around the world.

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