Economic Research Forum (ERF)

About the forum

The forum – is a new policy portal launched by the  Economic Research Forum (ERF) in October 2017 to promote  quality debates and ideas in the region which are evidence and research based. a It aims to become “the platform” for rich and relevant debates in the region on economic, social and political development issues. It provides a carefully edited platform that offers a ‘space’ in the debate, somewhere between what newspapers are prepared to publish and what scientific journals can provide.  It includes summaries of research papers as well as research-based commentaries on issues relevant for the ERF region, at the national, regional and international level. As an outlet for researchers, policy-makers and development practitioners, it allows the airing of policy insights, views and arguments based either on an existing body of original research or to comment on unfolding events. It is open to contributors from the region and from outside, and publishes columns of up to 1,000 words in both English and Arabic.

Editorial Board
Co-managing editors
Founding contributors
The forum communications team
Submissions

Most of the forum columns are commissioned directly by the co-managing editors, but the forum posts a few unsolicited columns. Leading economists who are interested in writing a “research-based policy analysis and commentary” are encouraged to communicate directly with the co-managing editors.

Quality

The forum provides access to “research based policy analysis and commentary” from a very broad range of experts and research. Our editors include articles they think are relevant, timely and valuable to advance the region’s economic and development agenda but that should not be seen as either an endorsement of the quality of the research, expertise or policy options. The views expressed in the articles are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the forum, ERF, our partners or funders.

Copyright and usage

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Most read

Formidable challenges facing the Middle East require a sea change in economic policies

Weakening global growth, endemic conflicts and increased tensions within the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) – as well as emerging challenges such as climate change and rapid demographic shifts – are likely to have an adverse impact on the region’s economic, social and political stability in the coming years. This column outlines the policy responses that are needed to avert disaster.

Lebanon’s 2019 austerity measures: enough to restore confidence?

Lebanon has entered the danger zone of high public indebtedness. As this column explains, this could seriously compromise the credibility and sustainability of the fixed exchange rate regime and may spark renewed inflationary pressures. Proposed austerity measures are unlikely to be enough to restore confidence in the country’s economy.

How to liberate Algeria’s economy

Algeria’s economy is growing far too slowly to provide enough jobs for a young, expanding and increasingly restless population. As this Project Syndicate column explains, the country's authorities need to boost competition, spur the creation of a digital economy and revamp state-owned enterprises.

The impact of hosting refugees on the labour market

What are the labour market effects of a massive influx of people on members of the host community? This column examines the experience of Jordan resulting from the conflict in neighbouring Syria. Evidence shows that Jordanians living in areas with high concentrations of Syrian refugees had no worse labour market outcomes than Jordanians with less exposure to the influx.

Economies of agglomeration and firm productivity in Egypt

There is a strong body of international evidence that firms are more productive when they cluster near one another geographically. This column reports new findings on the substantial productivity benefits of such agglomeration in Egypt. The results have important implications for policy, including the value of establishing specialised industrial zones for promising business clusters with high growth potential.

Unemployment in Tunisia: why it’s so high among women and youth

Why is unemployment among women, youth and educated people so high in Tunisia? Drawing on a new ERF book – The Tunisian Labor Market in an Era of Transition – this column explores three key factors - labour supply pressures; weak demand for skilled labour; and rigidities in the core institutions of the labour market – as well as potential policy responses

Lebanon’s austerity budget of 2019: a last resort to avoid crisis?

Lebanon’s high and rising public debt has become unsustainable. This column explains why it is essential that the austerity measures in the draft budget of 2019 are approved in order to avert imminent debt and exchange rate crises.