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World Bank Suspends Controversial Labour Indicator

Move points to new development thinking

In an important shift in the World Bank’s approach to development, only two days after this year’s spring meetings the Bank announced the suspension of the controversial “Employing Worker” Indicator (EWI) and a commitment to re-examine and revise both the EWI and the “Paying Taxes” Indicator in its annual country-ranking exercise called Doing Business. WDEV reports from Washington.


The World Bank’s highest-circulation annual flagship publication, Doing Business measures the cost to firms of selected business regulations in 181 countries and then ranks each country with a global Doing Business Rank based on each country’s ease of doing business. While the Report rates governments on a number of constructive topics, it also includes the EWI, which gives the best scores to countries that have the least amount of labour regulation in areas such as minimum wage levels, maximum hours per work week, requirements for advanced notice for layoffs, and severance pay ...

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