How can I find global competitiveness reports, or measures of the relative ease of starting up a new business in various countries?
The World Economic Forum publishes an annual Global Competitiveness Report, which ranks countries according to 12 "pillars of competitiveness." The pillars are: institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, health and primary education, higher education and training, goods market efficiency, labour market efficiency, financial market development, technological readiness, market size, business sophistication, and innovation. If you are doing historical research, Pius Library owns print copies of several older editions of this report.
Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) also does research related to competitiveness and the relative ease of starting new business ventures in various countries. Reports dated 1999-2010 are available online.