Red Tape Risk: Who in the G20 Is Cutting It?

By Eric Roston - 2013-11-15T15:08:34Z

Photograph by William Moran

Company Symbol % Change
20 of 21

United States

2014 Rank: 4
Change From 2013 Rank: None

The Doing Business authors take a shot across the bow of Americans who promote small government as an end in itself. The report contends that governments with higher spending relative to gross domestic product perform better. "[T]here is no evidence suggesting that economies that do well on Doing Business indicators tend to have governments driven by a 'smaller government' philosophy. Indeed, the data suggest otherwise."

The U.S. finishes strong overall but breaks the top 10 in just two of the report's 10 categories: access to credit and investor protections. 

Taxation remains the biggest hurdle for small and medium-size businesses, requiring an average of 11 payments per year and taking more than 46 percent of profits. The filing process can take 175 hours a year on average -- a significant decline since 2008. It ranks 64th in this category, between Iraq and Cambodia.

Left: Looking up at the Chrysler building from East 42nd Street, in New York City.

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