I’ve written about my deep concern over Noam Chomsky-admiring World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, a fellow — nominated by President Obama, recall — who seems overly skeptical about the benefits of free-market economics. A new blog post by Stanford economist John Taylor doesn’t make me feel any better:
Rumors are flying around that the World Bank will water down or even abandon its ten-year old Doing Business series which measures the extent and quality of pro-growth economic policies in individual countries round the world. A committee has been set up by World Bank president Jim Yong Kim to review the series. People are naturally writing and worrying about the outcome.
What a terrible mistake it would be to end or dilute this useful measurement system … A lot of economic research at the Treasury and other U.S. agencies went into choosing those selection criteria, which ended up including items such as those now covered in the Doing Business report, including the time it takes to start a business. … The straightforward idea was that insisting on measurable results would make aid more effective in reducing poverty and improving people’s lives.