Doing Business 2016 Measuring Regulatory Quality and Efficiency
World Bank Group, 2016
Doing Business 2016 is the 13th in a series of annual reports investigating the regulations that enhance business activity and those that constrain it. Doing Business presents quantitative indicators on business regulation and the protection of property rights that can be compared across 189 economies—from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe—and over time.
Doing Business measures aspects of regulation affecting 11 areas of the life of a business. Ten of these areas are included in this year’s ranking on the ease of doing business: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency. Doing Business also measures features of labor market regulation, which is not included in this year’s ranking.
Data in Doing Business 2016 are current as of June 1, 2015. The indicators are used to analyze economic outcomes and identify what reforms of business regulation have worked, where and why.
The netherlands of 2040
Bas ter Weel, Albert van der Horst and George Gelauff (2010)
This study develops four scenarios that can be used to think about the future of the Dutch economy in 2040. The study addresses the question of how we will earn our money in 2040 by looking at people and cities. It is hard to predict how the Dutch economy will evolve in the next five years, or even in the next one or two years—let alone thirty years ahead. Yet, policymakers have to take decisions today that have long-lasting consequences—about infrastructure projects, investments in education and science and welfare state reforms, for example. How should policymakers deal with the uncertainty about the future—as far as 2040—when taking such strategically important decisions?
Decisions have to be made today based on current knowledge, and cannot be made conditional on future events. For policies that can be changed fairly rapidly, it is feasible to take action immediately and adjust the policy when it turns out to be the wrong one or when more knowledge about outcomes becomes available. It becomes quite another matter when policies have a long lead-time and/or when they involve investments with large sunk costs. In such circumstances, policymakers have to trade off the benefits of waiting (with the chance of amassing more knowledge and learning about the direction of future developments) against the costs of delay.
A fruitful approach to help answer our main question is to develop scenarios for the future Dutch economy in 2040. Scenarios provide different pictures against which policymakers are able to consider and reconsider decisions and their long-term implications. Scenarios bundle historical developments, current stylised facts and trends towards the future into consistent stories for the future. They compel assist policymakers in thinking through all possible outcomes of their decisions.
Global Financial Centres Index
City of London, 2007
The City of London Corporation’s Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI) evaluates the competitiveness of 46 financial centres worldwide. It is updated regularly to identify changes in financial centre competitiveness.
The GFCI currently shows that London and New York are the two leading financial centres globally, with London ahead of New York by 5 rating points. London and New York are well ahead of the two strongest Asian centres of Hong Kong and Singapore which occupy 3rd and 4th places respectively. It is interesting to observe that Zurich, a financial centre strongly focused on the two niche sectors of private banking and asset management, is in 5th place just ahead of Frankfurt in 6th place.
It is worthwhile noting that London leads New York in all five areas of competitiveness, i.e. people, business environment, market access, infrastructure and general competitiveness. It is also notable that in the most recent of the two online surveys, London is further ahead of New York than it was in the previous study. In November 2005 the gap between the two cities was very small. Taking the city assessments from the most recent study in isolation, London is ahead of New York by 37 points.
The research involved in producing the GFCI has revealed a change in emphasis of the areas of competitiveness. In 2005, people and skills issues were rated as the most important factors of competitiveness followed by regulatory issues. In this research, people factors have been replaced as the most important factor by the regulatory and tax environments. Concerns about the level and quality of regulation in the USA and about the increasing levels of corporate taxation in the UK are widespread amongst our respondents. GFCI ratings will change as instrumental factors and financial centre assessments change. We intend to publish results twice a year.
The Competitive Position of London as a Global Financial Centre
Corporation of London, 2005
This study seeks to examine how competitive London is today and how competitive it might be in the future. We have approached this task by asking individuals engaged in the industry what factors they feel makes a financial centre competitive and how important each of these factors is in the competitive mix. We have then assessed these responses to determine how the main financial centres are rated in terms of each of these factorscentres.