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.
By the standards of middle-income economies, Turkey, North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean have very young populations – a demographic opportunity to achieve faster per capita income growth. This column, which draws on the EBRD’s latest Transition Report, argues that the key to taking advantage of the region’s current demographic profile is substantial investment in skills and education.
How do people in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia feel about their lives? Summarising analysis of data collected in nationally representative surveys, this column highlights three core messages about their reported health, happiness and views of the future.
The microfinance industry continues to grow rapidly in the MENA region. This column reports research from across the world showing that giving people access to microcredit does not lead to significant declines in poverty. But while microcredit is not yet a powerful anti-poverty strategy, the evidence shows that it is a useful financial tool.
The development of a vibrant private sector is essential for delivering the sustainable employment and inclusive growth that are so urgently needed in the countries of the Middle East and North Africa. This column summarises findings on the key constraints on doing business from Enterprise Surveys conducted in eight economies in the region during the period 2013-15.