The ease of doing business indicator, known as EDB, is a system that ranks the regulatory environment in countries around the world. New research looks at how the World Bank’s ease of doing business index has amassed considerable influence over business regulations worldwide. The financial institution has succeeded in doing so even though it doesn’t have an explicit mandate over regulatory policy.
The institutions that oversee the global economy – the IMF, the World Band, and the World Trading Organization – have all derived their authority from the support of the world’s economic hegemon, the United States. With the US under Donald Trump rapidly dumping its leadership role, how will the resulting vacuum be filled?
The worsening impacts of climate change in three densely populated regions of the world could see over 140 million people move within their countries’ borders by 2050, creating a looming human crisis and threatening the development process, a new World Bank Group report finds.
Bangladesh’s population of 160 million is as big as France, Germany, and the Netherlands combined. The country is also easily the poorest of the world’s 10 most populous. Given its size and the depth of its poverty, the country’s recent economic boom must rank as one of the world’s happiest economic stories right now.
Global governance is the mantra of our era’s elite. The surge in cross-border flows of goods, services, capital, and information produced by technological innovation and market liberalization has made the world’s countries too interconnected, their argument goes, for any country to be able to solve its economic problems on its own. We need global rules, global agreements, global institutions.
The World Bank’s International Development Association programme supports equitable growth in poor countries by providing low-interest, long-term loans and grants to national governments. The program supports 77 of the poorest countries in the world – half of which are in Africa. It also provides assistance to one country that no longer deserves it: India.
This weekend’s annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, which brought together finance ministers and central bank governors from almost 200 countries, seem to have yielded no material changes in policy formulation at either the national or multilateral levels, and offered little to alter views on global economic prospects.
China has many levers to pull economically, and stagnation and lower potential growth are relative. But the global hunt for economic growth by central banks will be a persistent source of volatility in financial markets. Without the ability to jump start their economies using traditional monetary policies, central banks will use unconventional policies more often in attempts to remain competitive globally and search for increasingly elusive growth spurts. Larry Summers may have been more correct than he knew.
If China is indeed making the transition it has long said it wishes to make, it would look like what we are now seeing. Both the IMF and the World Bank have in recent months pointed to compelling evidence that the transition is well under way, and it’s one of which they heartily approve. It’s remarkable that last year consumption growth in China contributed more to GDP growth than did the growth of investment. Remarkable, too, that half of the overall growth of output was contributed by services rather than by heavy industry.