How Doing Business Jeopardizes Institutional Reform

22 Pages Posted: 11 Jun 2008 Last revised: 22 Jul 2018

See all articles by Benito Arruñada

Benito Arruñada

Pompeu Fabra University - Department of Economics and Business; Barcelona GSE

Date Written: May 1, 2008


Simplifying business formalization and eliminating outdated formalities is often a good way of improving the institutional environment for firms. Unfortunately, the World Bank's Doing Business project is harming such policies by promoting a reform agenda that gives them priority even in countries lacking functional business registers, so that the reformed registers keep producing valueless information, but faster. Its methodology also promotes biased measurements that impede proper consideration of the essential tradeoffs in the design of formalization institutions. If Doing Business is to stop jeopardizing its true objectives and contribute positively to scientific progress, institutional reform and economic development, then its aims, governance and methodology need to change.

Keywords: Starting business, doing business, informal economy, company registers

JEL Classification: K22, K23, L59, O17

Suggested Citation

Arruñada, Benito, How Doing Business Jeopardizes Institutional Reform (May 1, 2008). European Business Organization Law Review, 2009, 10(4), 555-74, Available at SSRN:

Benito Arruñada (Contact Author)

Pompeu Fabra University - Department of Economics and Business ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas 25-27
Department of Economics and Business
Barcelona, 08005
+34 93 542 25 72 (Phone)
+34 93 542 17 46 (Fax)


Barcelona GSE ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27
Barcelona, Barcelona 08005

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics