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

By using theforum.erf.org.eg you agree to be legally bound by these terms.

Theforum.erf.org.eg editorial policy aims to encourage dissemination but wishes to track usage of its content and to be sure theforum.erf.org.eg retains control to avoid abuses.

Theforum.erf.org.eg follows the Creative Commons License to motivate people to share, use, and build upon the work featured as long as appropriate attribution is made subject to inclusion of the line Author@theforum.erf.org.eg (e.g. Makdisi@theforum.erf.org.eg).

Theforum.erf.org.eg content must not be adapted, altered or used to create a derivative work except for own personal, non-commercial use. Any other use of theforum.erf.org.eg content requires the prior written permission. Request permission from sghoneim@erf.org.eg.

theforum.erf.org.eg also encourages the translation and publication of contributions in the print media. For inquiries and permission to reproduce and/or translate please contact: sghoneim@erf.org.eg

Unless otherwise stated, the copyright for all contributions are held by theforum.erf.org.eg. theforum.erf.org.eg may change these terms at any time by posting changes online. Please review regularly to ensure you are aware of any changes.

 

Most read

Fair competition is needed to empower women economically in the Arab world

The participation rates of women in the labour market in Arab countries are the lowest in the world. This column argues that remedying the under-representation of women in the labour force is a social and economic imperative for the region. There are three dimensions for action to realise the potential of Arab women: amending laws and regulations; instilling fair competition in markets; and promoting the digital economy.

Recession without impact: why Lebanese elites delay reform

The survival of Lebanon’s political elites is highly dependent on the wellbeing of the economy. Why then do they delay necessary reform to avoid crisis? This column examines the role of politically connected firms in delaying much-needed economic stabilisation policies.

Competition laws: a key role for economic growth in MENA

Competition policy lacks the attention it deserves in the countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), a region characterised by monopolies and lack of market contestability. As this column explains, there are many questions about the extent of anti-competitive barriers facing new market entrants in the region. What’s more, MENA’s weak overall performance on competition is likely to be hindering economic growth and the path towards structural transformation.

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.

Domestic demand and competition: a new development paradigm for MENA

A lack of competition in domestic and regional markets is holding back development in the Middle East and North Africa. This column argues that the region and the international community must ensure that barriers to market entry and exit are eliminated, and that independent regulatory bodies at the national and regional levels help to promote domestic demand as the main engine for sustainable and inclusive growth.

Effects of urbanisation on productivity and wages: evidence from Turkey

Are the substantial productivity gains associated with larger cities in developed countries similar for developing countries? This column provides evidence on urbanised economies in the non-Western world by focusing on Turkey, a country that has experienced fast urbanisation and a high rate of growth of the urban population.

How import dependence could lead to corruption in MENA

Export-led development strategies have had little success in MENA countries; what’s more, instruments of earlier import-substitution strategies – such as state-owned enterprises, high tariffs and subsidies – have survived. As this column explains, these legacies have created crony-capitalist industries that have limited the level of competition in many sectors of the economy and furthered the region’s dependence on imports.

Social security for young workers in Arab countries

Social security coverage of young workers in Arab countries is low – in part because many are employed in informal jobs; and in part because they do not see the value of the system. This column reports survey evidence on young workers’ attitudes towards participation in both social security and politics. It also explores policy reforms that might make access to social security universal for young workers.

Lessons in economics from Algeria’s victory in the Africa Cup of Nations

Algeria’s recent victory in the Africa Cup of Nations has united a country whose development model has frustrated its young and educated workforce. This column offers four lessons for economic development from the national football team’s success: on the role of competition and market forces; mobilising talent; the role of managers; and the importance of referees (that is, regulation).

Gender discrimination in small business lending: evidence from Turkey

Discrimination in access to financial services can prevent women from exploiting their entrepreneurial potential. This column reports on a ‘lab-in-the-field’ experiment to test for the presence of gender discrimination in small business lending in Turkey.