A Change in World Bank Methodology (Not Reform) Explains India’s Rise in Doing Business Rankings

May 15, 2018
Molly Raven

February 5, 2018

Source: Center for Global Development

While Modi has celebrated India’s rapid rise in the Doing Business rankings, the World Bank’s Chief Economist recently resigned amid controversy over methodological changes. Without those changes, India’s “jump” in the rankings looks much more modest.

Speaking to the assembled billionaires at Davos last month, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced triumphantly that “the largest democracy on earth is also the fastest growing major economy.” Modi used the platform to advertise that “India is open for business” and tout his accomplishments as an economic reformer—and that claim seems to have the backing of international financial institutions.

Last October, the World Bank announced that “India Jumps Doing Business Rankings with Sustained Reform Focus” moving from 130th to 100th overall. (Note the focus on the jump, or change.) The Indian press and pundits declared that the Bank had “endorsed Modi’s reform credentials.” Modi himself turned the change in Doing Business rankings into a talking political sales pitch.

 

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