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Improvements in the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business Rankings: Do they translate into greater foreign direct investment inflows?


  • Dinuk Jayasuriya


The World Bank's Ease of Doing Business reports have been ranking countries since 2006. However, do improvements in rankings generate greater foreign direct investment inflows? This study is the first to test such a proposition empirically with Arellano-Bond dynamic panel estimators using the official rankings from 2006 to 2009. The paper shows this relationship is significant for the average country. However, when the sample is restricted to developing countries, the results suggest an improved ranking has, on average, an insignificant (albeit positive) influence on foreign direct investment inflows. Although robust, this result should be taken with caution given that it refers to the average developing country using data across a four-year time period. Finally, the paper demonstrates that, on average, countries that undertake large-scale reforms relative to other countries do not necessarily attract greater foreign direct investment inflows. This analysis may have important ramifications for developing country governments wanting to improve their Doing Business Rankings in the hope of attracting foreign direct investment inflows.

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  • Dinuk Jayasuriya, 2011. "Improvements in the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business Rankings: Do they translate into greater foreign direct investment inflows?," Development Policy Centre Discussion Papers 1108, Development Policy Centre, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  • Handle: RePEc:een:devpol:1108

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Cull, Robert & Navajas, Sergio & Nishida, Ippei & Zeiler, Renate, 2015. "A New Index of the Business Environment for Microfinance," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 357-388.
    2. Sharif M. Hossain & Nobuhiro Hosoe, 2017. "Foreign Direct Investment in the Ready-Made Garments Sector of Bangladesh : Macro and Distributional Implications," GRIPS Discussion Papers 17-10, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.
    3. Bartels, Frank L. & Napolitano, Francesco & Tissi, Nicola E., 2014. "FDI in Sub-Saharan Africa: A longitudinal perspective on location-specific factors (2003–2010)," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 516-529.
    4. Alessandro Borin & Riccardo Cristadoro & Elena Mattevi, 2014. "Foreign direct investment and institutional quality," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 230, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    5. Alessandro Borin & Riccardo Cristadoro, 2014. "Foreign direct investment and multinational firms," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 243, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.

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    JEL classification:

    • O19 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations

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