Waiting for the permits to come in: business start-up fees and lost output waiting in Europe and North America

Expediting the processing of permits can actually make quite a difference to firm start-up costs even in countries with few barriers to starting up a business.

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Source: Markus Poschke (2011) Entry regulation: Still costly | VOX, CEPR’s Policy Portal.

Note: The value of time is set to a business day’s output per day of waiting time at 22 business days per month.

Where is it easiest to start a business?

Doing business in the PIGS (Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain) – World Bank rankings

Figure 1: Doing Business rankings, PIGS, 2014

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Source: World Bank Doing Business 2015.

All in all, Italy and Greece are a dog of a place to enforce a contract. The long-suffering taxpayer is better off paying taxes in Greece than in Italy! Not surprisingly, trading across borders is the greatest strength in doing business in the PIGS. The European Union does have some benefits.

Figure 2: Doing Business rankings, Greece and Italy, 2014

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Source: World Bank Doing Business 2015.

All in all, Italy and Greece are equally bad places to do business and Italy is much worse when it comes to taxes. About the only saving graces of Italy is the registration of property and the protection of minority interests in companies.

Figure 3: Doing Business rankings, Spain and Portugal, 2014

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Source: World Bank Doing Business 2015.

Spain and in particular Portugal are much better places to do business than Italy and Greece.

Greece (61st) is ranked one above the Russia in the World Bank’s Doing Business Survey 2015

Figure 1: Greek and Russian Doing Business sub-rankings, 2015

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Source: World Bank Doing Business 2015.

As long as you’re not in a construction or export business, and don’t mind waiting for your electricity, it’s better to do business in Russia than in Greece! The main difference between Russia and Greece is its membership of the European Union makes it easy to export?

In Russia, it’s easier to start a business, register property and enforce contracts than it is in Greece!

Dealing with the Spanish bureaucracy

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