• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • The World Bank Must Defend “Doing Business” Report

    Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank. (Photo: EPA)


    Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank, faces perhaps the most critical decision in his presidency so far. He must defend the Bank’s annual “Doing Business” report from attacks by China and some nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). His failure to do so will have far-reaching negative impacts on the World Bank’s mission of “Working for a World Free of Poverty.”

    As The Economist magazine points out:

    The [Doing Business] rankings irk countries that do not do well—notably China.… Studies show a clear relationship between improved scores in “Doing Business” and faster growth. Granted, its methodology is not perfect, and changes in rules do not always match conditions on the ground. But the answer is to improve the research behind the rankings, not to suppress them.

    Oddly enough, a coalition of various humanitarian groups has teamed up with China in the effort to scuttle the Doing Business report. It is tragic to see these groups, which include such well-known NGOs as Oxfam International and Save the Children, throwing in their lot with China, whose centralized planning is the antithesis of the Doing Business model of more effective free-market capitalism.

    Kim should think long and hard before giving in to China’s grumbles and the special pleading of NGOs whose fundraising and very existence depends on continued poverty and aid-dependency in the developing world. If he stays true to his call for building “a science of delivery for development,” an ambitious goal of ending extreme poverty within a generation, Doing Business, one of the Bank’s few data-driven evaluation tools, will need to be a key part of the effort.

    Kim made a compassionate case that “we set goals to keep ourselves from falling into either fatalism or complacency—both deadly enemies of the poor.” To ensure that does not happen, Kim should stand up for the Doing Business report. He should steer the World Bank to an even greater embrace of an evidence-based approach to development policies, emphasizing policy competition to advance economic freedom and greater prosperity for all.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    Comments are closed.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.