Recent notable developments in Egypt’s educational system include an agreement between the government and private firms to enhance the provision of technical and vocational education (TVE). This column assesses the potential effectiveness of the initiative, and proposes ways to achieve a better match between the demand for and supply of skills in different sectors of the economy.
The Middle East and North Africa urgently needs a new social contract focused on economically empowering the hundreds of millions of youth who are expected to join the labour market in the coming decades. This Project Syndicate column argues that the key to success will be technological adoption, adaptation and innovation, encouraged and facilitated by governments.
Measures of income or consumption alone provide an inadequate representation of living standards and economic inequality across households. This column reports evidence on the distribution of productive assets in three MENA countries plus Ethiopia – and the impact of that wealth on households’ present and future earnings.
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.
How should oil-based sovereign wealth funds allocate their investment across different asset classes, such as stocks, bonds and real estate? This column analyses the optimal strategy in light of the need to hedge against adverse oil price shocks.
The growing use of digital technologies in financial services provision holds promise for MENA countries to improve their financial systems and promote greater financial inclusion. This column explores the potential of such innovations as mobile money platforms and crowdfunding to help unleash the region’s economic potential.
There are many gaps in our understanding of trends in both money metric inequality and multidimensional inequality in Arab states. This column previews a forthcoming report that will explore fundamental questions: why study inequality; with what theoretical approaches and measurement frameworks; and inequality between whom?
For institutional and historical reasons, countries of the Middle East and North Africa have relied mostly on consumption subsidies for reducing inequality. This column presents evidence on the distributional impact of recent subsidy reforms in Egypt.
After years of high commodity prices, a new era of lower prices, especially for oil, will be challenging for resource-rich countries, which must cope with the decline in income and the potential widening of internal and external imbalances. This column summarises a recent eBook in which leading economists examine the shifting landscape in commodity markets and explore the exchange rate, monetary and fiscal policy options, as well as the role of finance, including sovereign wealth funds and diversification.