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How business is done and the'doing business'indicators : the investment climate when firms have climate control

Listed author(s):
  • Hallward-Driemeier, Mary
  • Pritchett, Lant

This paper examines de jure and de facto measures of regulations, finding the relationship between them is neither one for one, nor linear."Doing Business"provides indicators of the formal time and costs associated with fully complying with regulations. Enterprise Surveys report the actual experiences of a wide range of firms. First, there are significant variations in reported times to complete the same transaction by firms facing the same formal policy. Second, regulatory compliance appears"under water"as firms report actual times much less than the Doing Business reported days. Third, the data reveal substantial differences between favored and disfavored firms in the same location. Favored firms show minimal variation, so Doing Business has little predictive power for the times they report. For disfavored firms, the variation is greater, although still not significantly correlated with Doing Business. Fourth, where multiple Enterprise Surveys are available, there is little association over time, with reductions in Doing Business days as likely to be accompanied by increases in Enterprise Surveys days. Comparing these two types of measures suggests very different ways of thinking about policy versus policy implementation, what"a climate"for firms in a country might mean, and what the options for"policy reform"really are.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5563.

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Date of creation: 01 Feb 2011
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5563
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