Case Studies

Doing Business case studies highlight the specific experience of an economy or region in improving important aspects of business regulation. They offer an insight into regulatory issues faced by policy makers, challenges they had to overcome, and the impact of their initiative.
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Featured Case Studies

Measuring the cost of red tape

This note estimates the costs to firms from inefficient business regulations. Using the Doing Business data, we identify the time it takes in countries around the world for 6 major transactions regulated by governments: starting a business, transferring property, paying business taxes, exporting goods, importing goods and using courts to resolve a commercial dispute. Based on the data, we estimate that if the governments of 90 economies had applied best practice in regulating business entry in 2012, more than 45 million days of entrepreneurs’ time could have been saved.

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Measuring trade facilitation step by step: findings from a sample of 10 economies

In 2014 the Doing Business project’s Trading across Borders team took on additional research aimed at providing new data to complement existing tools for benchmarking in trade facilitation. The study applied a time-and-motion approach to map out the step-by-step procedures in trade. The research focused on 10 economies: Bangladesh, Benin, China, the Czech Republic, Honduras, the Republic of Korea, Moldova, Qatar, St. Lucia and Zambia.

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Enforcing contracts: How judicial efficiency supports freedom of contract

Freedom of contract is the power of contracting parties to freely determine the content of their agreement without interference from the government or from other individuals. Efficient contract enforcement promotes investment by influencing the decisions of economic actors. By promoting investment, good judicial institutions can also contribute to economic growth and development. This case study explores how freedom of contract is regulated in a sample of 34 economies belonging to different regions and income groups. It also looks at judicial efficiency in contract resolution in the same 34 economies, using data for the enforcing contracts indicators as a proxy for judicial efficiency.

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Getting credit: The importance of registries

Effective systems for secured transactions and credit reporting can improve access to finance for small and medium-size enterprises. This is confirmed by the data for the expanded indicators on getting credit, which this year also cover the functional approach to secured transactions, more features of the collateral registry and the availability of credit scores as well as online access to credit information.

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Paying taxes: Trends before and after the financial crisis

The global financial crisis of 2008–09 had a dramatic impact on national tax revenue and led to a sharp increase in deficits and public debt. Fiscal measures were part of the policy toolkit that governments brought to bear in supporting the recovery. Doing Business has been monitoring how governments tax businesses through its paying taxes indicators for 9 years, looking at both tax administration and tax rates. The data give interesting insights into the tax policies implemented during the financial crisis of 2008–09.

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Protecting minority investors: Going beyond related-party transactions

Since their inception, the Doing Business indicators on protecting minority investors measure minority shareholder protections against directors’ misuse of corporate assets for personal gain. This is done by positing specific sets of assumptions about a related-party transaction between 2 companies that involves a clear conflict of interest. Doing Business introduces 3 new measures that are unrelated to this transaction, covering a broader array of regulations that are conducive of capital market investment and that promote greater access to finance for entrepreneurs.

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Registering property: Measuring the quality of land administration systems

Doing Business collected preliminary data in 170 economies on the reliability, transparency and coverage of land registration systems and on land dispute resolution. A high quality land registration system is associated with greater access to credit, lower income inequality and a lower incidence of bribery at the land registry. The data show that examples of good practice exist in all regions of the world.

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Resolving insolvency: Measuring the strength of insolvency laws

Doing Business introduces a new component of the resolving insolvency indicator set this year, the strength of insolvency framework index. This indicator tests whether each economy has adopted internationally recognized good practices in the area of insolvency. The data show that there is a positive correlation between the recovery rate for creditors and the strength of the legal framework for insolvency.

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Starting a business: The growing efficiency of company registries

Entrepreneurs should have the opportunity to turn their ideas into a business and often a first step is to formally register a company. Yet in many countries the bureaucratic obstacles and high costs imposed by inefficient company registries deter people with good business ideas from embarking on the path of formal entrepreneurship. As the first interface between the regulator and a potential new entrepreneur, company registries hold the key to the formal economy, providing businesses with a legal identity and empowering them to participate fully and within the framework of the law. What should company registries do to encourage businesses to formalize? What are the best practices to follow?

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Zoning and urban planning: Understanding the benefits

Zoning is an essential tool in successful urban planning. Zoning regulations can provide a useful framework for investors and developers by specifying the most appropriate location for their projects before they apply for a construction permit. Zoning practices vary widely around the world.

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Subnational Case Studies

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