My Unclear Comments about the Doing Business Report

In a conversation with a reporter, I made comments about the Doing Business report that gave the impression that I suspected political manipulation or bias. This was not what I meant to say or thought I said. I have not seen any sign of manipulation of the numbers published in Doing Business report or in any other Bank report.

What I did want to say is something many of us in the Bank believe–that we could do a better job of explaining what our numbers mean.

In the production of the Doing Business report, we changed our methods for solid reasons. These changes were carefully considered. But when we implemented the changes, we could have explained more clearly why, for example, Chile’s ranking fell.

We already made DB 2018 easier to understand by sticking with the methods of DB 2017. To be more transparent, we have also published more the underlying data and more of the details behind the calculations.

There will, of course, always be room to explain ourselves more clearly. I’m sorry that in my attempt at promoting clarity, I myself was not clear.

Congratulations to Dick Thaler on Winning the Nobel Prize!

Someone from at the World Bank wrote to ask what I thought about the Nobel Prize for Dick Thaler. Here’s my reply:

I think it’s terrific that Dick got the prize. He deserves lots of credit for pushing forward the research agenda of behavior economics, and doing so with good cheer, despite the disdain it provoked from many quarters.
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Letter from an Aspiring Macroeconomist (with response)

Dear Professor Romer,

I am writing you about your recent working paper The Trouble with Macroeconomics that generated lots of reactions.

I have simple question. I am a graduate student in economics. I am going to begin a PhD program in economics next year. I always loved macro, and I will probably specialize myself in this field. My question is:
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