Economic Research Forum (ERF)

Shahid Yusuf

Author

Shahid Yusuf
Chief Economist, Growth Dialogue. Washington DC; Non-Resident Fellow Center for Global Development

Shahid Yusuf is Chief Economist of The Growth Dialogue at the George Washington University, School of Business in Washington DC; and Non-Resident Fellow of the Center for Global Development in Washington DC. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University, and a BA in Economics from Cambridge University. Prior to joining the Growth Dialogue, Dr. Yusuf was on the staff of the World Bank. During his 35-year tenure at the World Bank, Dr. Yusuf was the team leader for the World Bank-Japan project on East Asia’s Future Economy from 2000-2009. He was the Director of the World Development Report 1999/2000, Entering the 21st Century. Prior to that, he was Economic Adviser to the Senior Vice President and Chief Economist (1997-98), Lead Economist for the East Africa Department (1995-97) and Lead Economist for the China and Mongolia Department (1989-1993). From 2016 through 2020, Shahid Yusuf was Adjunct Professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) teaching in the China Studies Program. Dr. Yusuf has written extensively on development issues, with a special focus on East Asia and has also published widely in various academic journals. He has authored or edited more than 25 books and monographs on industrial and urban development, innovation systems and tertiary education, many of which have been translated into a number of different languages. His publications include: China and the Global Economy; Development Economics through the Decades; and Under New Ownership:Privatizing China’s State-owned Enterprises (co-authored with Dwight Perkins and Kaoru Nabeshima; His current research is on technology development and on the role of global value chains. Dr Yusuf lives in the Washington DC area and consults with a number of organizations.

Content by this Author

Digital technology and inequality: the Impact on Arab countries

The widespread diffusion of new digital technologies arouses mixed emotions: hopes that it will revive waning productivity growth; and fears that it will displace workers, particularly the low-skilled and those with less education, and lead to greater inequality. This column summarises new evidence on the likely impact of technological change in the Arab countries, and how governments should think about responding.

Most read

Labour market effects of robots: evidence from Turkey

Evidence from developed countries on the impact of automation on labour markets suggests that there can be negative effects on manufacturing jobs, but also mechanisms for workers to move into the services sector. But this narrative may not apply in developing economies. This column reports new evidence from Turkey on the effects of robots on labour displacement and job reallocation.

Global value chains and domestic innovation: evidence from MENA firms

Global interlinkages play a significant role in enhancing innovation by firms in developing countries. In particular, as this column explains, participation in global value chains fosters a variety of innovation activities. Since some countries in the Middle East and North Africa display a downward trend on measures of global innovation, facilitating the GVC participation of firms in the region is a prospective channel for stimulating underperforming innovation.

Food insecurity in Tunisia during and after the Covid-19 pandemic

Labour market instability, rising unemployment rates and soaring food prices due to Covid-19 are among the reasons for severe food insecurity across the world. This grim picture is evident in Tunisia, where the government continues to provide financial and food aid to vulnerable households after the pandemic. But as this column explains, the inadequacy of some public policies is another important factors causing food insecurity.

Sustaining entrepreneurship: lessons from Iran

Does entrepreneurial activity naturally return to long-term average levels after big economic disturbances? This column presents new evidence from Iran on trends in entrepreneurship among various categories of firm size, sector and location – and suggests policies that could be effective in promoting entrepreneurial activities.

Intimate partner violence: the impact on women’s empowerment in Egypt

Although intimate partner violence is a well-documented and widely recognised problem, empirical research on its prevalence and impact is scarce in developing countries, including those in the Middle East and North Africa. This column reports evidence from a study of intra-household disparities in Egypt, taking account of attitudes toward gender roles, women’s ownership of assets, and the domestic violence that wives may experience from their husbands.

Manufacturing firms in Egypt: trade participation and outcomes for workers

International trade can play a large and positive role in boosting economic growth, reducing poverty and making progress towards gender equality. These effects result in part from the extent to which trade is associated with favourable labour market outcomes. This column presents evidence of the effects of Egyptian manufacturing firms’ participation in exporting and importing on their workers’ productivity and average wages, and on women’s employment share.

Do capital inflows cause industrialisation or de-industrialisation?

There is a clear appeal for emerging and developing economies, including those in MENA, to finance investment in manufacturing industry at home with capital inflows from overseas. But as the evidence reported in this column indicates, this is a potentially risky strategy: rather than promoting industrialisation, capital flows can actually lead to lower manufacturing value added and/or a reallocation of resources towards industries with lower technology intensity.

Financial constraints on small firms’ growth: pandemic lessons from Iran

How does access to finance affect the growth of small businesses? This column presents new evidence from Iran before and during the Covid-19 pandemic – and lessons learned by micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.

Happiness in the Arab world: should we be concerned?

Several Arab countries have low rankings in the latest comparative assessment of average happiness across the world. But as this column explains, the average is not a reliable summary statistic when applied to ordinal data. The evidence from more robust analysis of socio-economic inequality in happiness suggests that policy-makers should be less concerned about happiness indicators than the core development objective of more equitable social conditions for citizens.

The economics of Israeli war aims and strategies

Israel’s response to last October’s Hamas attack has led to widespread death and destruction. This column outlines the impact thus far, including the effects on food scarcity, migration and the Palestinian economy in both Gaza and the West Bank.