How was the balance between Egypt’s formal and informal economies affected by the political turmoil that accompanied the Arab Spring? This column reports research showing that the number of jobs with no contract or social security coverage has increased in recent decades, but particularly since the uprising in 2011. Educated young people have been hurt more than the less educated.
Despite significant reforms taken by the Egyptian government to liberalise markets and enhance the business environment, political factors continue to affect firms’ capacity to export. This column reports research on the impact of the overall investment climate on Egyptian exports in the manufacturing sector.
Large endowments of natural resources can be both a blessing and a curse: the key to having them be the former rather than the latter lies in good institutions that limit the power of interest groups and kleptocrats. This column argues that reform-minded policy-makers must find ways in which practical and innovative policies can be carried out without invoking resistance from entrenched interests.
A policy reform in Turkey in 1997 extended the length of compulsory schooling from five to eight years, a measure that involved substantial public investment in school infrastructure. This column reports research on the effects of the extension on educational outcomes and, in particular, on the equality of these outcomes between men and women, and between residents of urban and rural areas.
How do firms in Arab countries use equity, corporate bond and syndicated loan markets to obtain finance? This column reports research that provides a first documentation of issuance in domestic and international markets over a 25-year period from the early 1990s.
A decade ago, Middle Eastern sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) burst onto the global financial scene, raising eyebrows as they gobbled up assets in Europe and North America. But, as this Project Syndicate column argues, the world in which SWFs invest has changed, and they must change with it.
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.
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.
A new measure of household poverty in the Arab countries provides the basis for tailored solutions across the region. This column reports the key findings of the first Arab Multidimensional Poverty Report and outlines an agenda for policy action.
Trade liberalisation in many developing countries has been pursued selectively, with a general reduction in tariffs counterbalanced by growing reliance on non-tariff measures. This column reports research on the political economy of such selective trade reform in Mubarak-era Egypt. The evidence shows that sectors with a greater concentration of politically connected business ‘cronies’ enjoyed systematically higher levels of non-tariff protection.
Out-of-pocket’ (OOP) healthcare expenditure is a heavy burden on household resources in developing countries like Sudan where poverty and illness are widespread. This column proposes a package of practical actions to protect households from becoming victims of OOP expenditure – and to reduce the impoverishment when such expenditure becomes catastrophic.