Research and Publications

Doing Business 2020 is the 17th in a series of annual studies investigating the regulations that enhance business activity and those that constrain it. It provides quantitative indicators covering 12 areas of the business environment in 190 economies. The goal of the Doing Business series is to provide objective data for use by governments in designing sound business regulatory policies and to encourage research on the important dimensions of the regulatory environment for firms.

This book examines whether there is still a path to development through GVCs and trade. It concludes that technological change is, at this stage, more a boon than a curse. GVCs can continue to boost growth, create better jobs, and reduce poverty provided that developing countries implement deeper reforms to promote GVC participation; industrial countries pursue open, predictable policies; and all countries revive multilateral cooperation.

International Debt Statistics (IDS) is a longstanding annual publication of the World Bank featuring external debt statistics and analysis for the 122 low- and middle-income countries that report to the World Bank Debt Reporting System (DRS).

This report proposes a reform agenda that emphasizes productivity and innovation to help policymakers promote China's future growth and achieve their vision of a modern and innovative China.

Lifelines lays out a framework for understanding infrastructure resilience and it makes an economic case for building more resilient infrastructure. Lifelines concludes by identifying five obstacles to resilient infrastructure and offering concrete recommendations and specific actions that can be taken by governments, stakeholders, and the international community to improve the quality and resilience of these essential services.

Enabling the Business of Agriculture 2019 presents indicators that measure the laws, regulations and bureaucratic processes that affect farmers in 101 countries. The study covers eight thematic areas: supplying seed, registering fertilizer, securing water, registering machinery, sustaining livestock, protecting plant health, trading food and accessing finance. The report highlights global best performers and countries that made the most significant regulatory improvements in support of farmers.

New and Noteworthy

Logistics and transportation of container cargo ship . Copyright: Travel mania/Shutterstock.com

Global Growth to Weaken to 2.6% in 2019, Substantial Risks Seen

Global economic growth is forecast to ease to a weaker-than-expected 2.6% in 2019 before inching up to 2.7% in 2020. Growth in emerging market and developing economies is expected to stabilize next year as some countries move past periods of financial strain, but economic momentum remains weak.

A small business owner in Mexico City. © Jessica Belmont/World Bank

Despite Gains, Women Face Setbacks in Legal Rights Affecting Work

Globally, women are accorded only three-quarters of the legal rights that men enjoy according to a new index released by the World Bank today, constraining their ability to get jobs or start businesses and make economic decisions that are best for them and their families.

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Emerging, Developing Economies to Face Challenges if Global Inflation Rises

The adverse effects of high inflation can fall disproportionately on the poor, who hold most of their assets in cash and rely heavily on wage income, welfare benefits, and pensions, says new report on Inflation in Emerging and Developing Economies: Evolution, Drivers, and Policies.

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Pinelopi Goldberg

Chief Economist, World Bank Group