The World Bank performs a comprehensive analysis of structural costs to start and conduct business in virtually every country in the world.  Not surprisingly, advanced economies receive high rankings; these economies are rich for a reason, and they have rules and institutions that make starting a new business relatively fast and cheap, in turn promoting innovation and job creation.  In addition, they have comparatively flexible labor and capital markets that constantly reallocate resources based on consumer preferences and overall spending patterns.

The United States is high on the list of several hundred countries but it is not at the top.  Currently, the U.S. ranks fourth in terms of the ease of doing business, and Singapore, Hong Kong, and New Zealand are ahead of us.  A sign of the growing prowess of the Asian economies is that Hong Kong was ranked seventh back in 2005.

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