Improving the quality of the relationship between the private and public sectors in MENA countries is a strategy that is likely to enhance job creation and broader economic development. This column reports firm-level evidence from the World Bank’s Enterprise Surveys of Egypt and Turkey, which shows that political instability, high tax rates, poor electricity infrastructure and inadequate access to finance and credit are the key elements of state-business relations that are constraining employment growth.
Resource reallocation from low to high productivity firms can generate large aggregate productivity gains with further potential benefits for growth. This column reports evidence on productivity and resource misallocation in a sample of firms in Egypt, Turkey and Yemen from the World Bank’s Enterprise Surveys. The main focus is on state-business relations and the impact on firm performance and economic growth.
The rate of labour force participation of women in MENA countries remains lower than in any other part of the world – and it is even lower for women with disabilities. This column reports evidence from Iraq of the impact of disability on the bargaining power of wives within their households.
Healthcare reforms in Turkey have aimed to reduce the potentially heavy burden of ‘out-of-pocket’ payments on household resources and to provide health insurance for the poor. This column outlines the policies, their impact and some of the future challenges for policy-makers.