Surminski, Swenja and Williamson, Andrew
Policy indexes – what do they tell us and what are their applications?: the case of climate policy and business planning in emerging markets.
Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy and Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment working papers,
Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy and Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, London, UK.
The last two decades have witnessed an explosion in the publication of
country indexes that measure and rank the relative policy performances of
governments. Whilst there is a well understood audience for such rankings
amongst policy-makers and the media, much less is known about their use
and applicability to business users and business planning. In this study we
explore if and how policy indexes can assist business decision-making and
compare and contrast the strength and weaknesses of using indexes between
their current target audience of government decision makers and business
We focus on one particular area – climate policy – where several of these
types of indexes have been developed, all with different aims, varying in
methodology applied and data used. Our analysis is supported by an
investigation of the information content of these climate change indexes and
by a number of stakeholder interviews with business representatives. Despite
several challenges and limitations to the use of policy indexes by business
leaders, we suggest that the need for data and information to support
business planning and market entry decisions is strong – particularly in
emerging markets and in sectors that face political uncertainty.
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