The World Bank publishes a report called, “Doing Business.” The report ranks countries according to their regulatory environments. Countries can improve their rankings by reducing bureaucratic burdens on starting a business and expanding access to electricity. However, since 2018, everyone from the World Bank’s then chief economist to the Center for Global Development have been pointing to possible corruption in the data used to put together the rankings. The most recent rankings find China, Azerbaijan, UAE, and Saudi Arabia soaring. For example, Azerbiajan, the country that comes to all of our minds when we think “business growth,” soared from 80th place to 34th in just a year. China climbed from 90th to 31st, right up there with Azerbaijan when we think of friendly governments and capitalism. The data point to what one expert said was “rot within the project.”
All data is only as good as the folks who put it together and those those who get their hands on it before publication.