Doing Business and the Rigidity of Employment Index

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Originally posted on November 30, 2009.


The rigidity of employment index used in our chapter on Unemployment and Labor Force Participation comes fromDoing Business, the World Bank’s massive database on business regulations across 183 economies.  Using field teams the World Bank measures things such as the time and expense it takes to start a new business, the time and trouble to resolve a commercial dispute in the courts, the difficulty of hiring workers and the rigidity of employment.  Data on these characteristics across surveys can be easily downloaded here.


The Doing Business reports are excellent.  Scrolling through these reports it’s easy to find many useful graphs which can be quickly cut and pasted into a presentation.  Here, for example, is a figure on rigidity of employment and the share of women in employment and the youth unemployment rate (from Doing Business 2006).  Right click “View on Image” to open full size.



About the Author
Alex Tabarrok is Bartley J. Madden Chair in Economics at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and director of research for The Independent Institute. Tabarrok is co-author with Tyler Cowen of the popular economics blog, Marginal Revolution. His recent research looks at bounty hunters, judicial incentives and elections, crime control, patent reform, methods to increase the supply of human organs for transplant, and the regulation of pharmaceuticals. He is the editor of the books, Entrepreneurial Economics: Bright Ideas from the Dismal Science; The Voluntary City: Choice, Community, and Civil Society; and Changing the Guard: Private Prisons and The Control of Crime. His papers have appeared in the Journal of Law and Economics, Public Choice, Economic Inquiry, Journal of Health Economics, Journal of Theoretical Politics, The American Law and Economics Review, Kyklos and many other journals. His popular articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and many other magazines and newspapers.