Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Another ranking

We've seen rankings of countries on human development, human rights, and transparency.

The CIA World Factbook is full of demographic and economic rankings. It's sometimes enlightening to play with the numbers to see if there area any correlations between the rankings and types of regimes or political cultures.

Well, Forbes Magazine has ranked 127 countries to determine which ones are "best for business."

Best Countries for Business

And the top 10 are

  1. Denmark
  2. United States
  3. Canada
  4. Singapore
  5. New Zealand
  6. United Kingdom
  7. Sweden
  8. Australia
  9. Hong Kong
  10. Norway

Other countries of interest to Advanced Placement teachers are:

#56 Mexico
#63 China
#97 Nigeria
#103 Russia

Iran didn't make the list at all. There's hardly any private business there except for the small bazaar-type shops.

  • What criteria did Forbes use to rank the countries?
  • What are the factors underlying the criteria Forbes used? (e.g. population densities; industrial or post-industrial economies; education levels; social welfare systems, etc.)
  • How many of the highly-ranked countries are constitutional democracies? Is that a contributing factor to their high rank?
  • How do these rankings compare with the rankings found in the CIA World Factbook?
  • What policies would help a country like Mexico or China move up in the rankings?
  • Are those policies different from the policies that would help Nigeria or Russia move up in the rankings?

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