The Turkish economy is characterised by considerable regional disparities, including big differences in the willingness of new firms to locate in different parts of the country. This column reports research evidence that there is also spatial variation in the factors that can boost local economic activity and contribute to a smoothing of economic geography across Turkey’s western and eastern regions.
Since the majority of Egypt’s labour force is in the informal sector, where three quarters of workers earn less than the minimum wage, the recent increase will not benefit them. Indeed, as research reported in this column shows, it will lead to a rise in inequality. A better policy option would be to implement self-targeted public works programmes similar to those supported by India’s National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, which push up the informal sector’s ‘effective’ minimum wage, thereby reducing both wage inequality and some of the precarious nature of informal jobs.
What are the relationships between people’s cultural traits and their aspirations to emigrate? This column explores whether emigrants from countries in the Middle East and North Africa self-select on the basis of their religiosity and their attitudes towards women’s rights – two cultural traits that are correlated with economic outcomes and on which there are considerable contrasts within the MENA region.
It is now a widely held view that the price of oil will eventually be converging to a lower long-term trend. Together with growing demands for political change in the MENA region, this implies the need for many countries to reconsider their growth models and their underlying social contract. This column considers the implications for the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council.
UNICEF’s new report, MENA Generation 2030, focuses on ‘investing in children and youth today to secure a prosperous region tomorrow’. This column discusses the prospects for a ‘demographic dividend’ in the region with the growing share of the working age population in the total population. The authors explore the barriers that impede realisation of the potential benefits and the policy actions that need to be implemented urgently. As the report underlines, the time to act is now.
Employment of Palestinians in Israel is one of the special features of the labour markets in the West Bank. But this employment is volatile as closures and regulations administered by the Israeli authorities control Palestinians’ access. This column reports research simulating different levels of the employment of Palestinian labour in Israel and assesses their implications for food security in the West Bank.
Firms that want to start exporting have to be able to innovate and upgrade their use of technology in the face of fierce competition in international markets. As this column explains, highly skilled production and non-production workers are essential. In other words, engaging in international trade creates the need for a bias towards skills.
Accountable leadership is one of the biggest challenges to development in Africa. This Brookings column argues that the young people of the continent need to take more places in presidencies, councils of ministers, parliaments, national committees, corporate boardrooms and civil society.
How vulnerable is the MENA region to a ‘sudden stop’ in capital inflows and the potential for associated financial and debt crises? This column outlines the risks and the appropriate policy responses.
The crises that began with the Arab revolts signal the urgent need for economic and social transformation in the Middle East and North Africa. Yet there has been near universal failure to implement the structural reforms required to transform hidebound, state-dominated economies into modern ones that embrace technology and recognise the salutary impact of competition and private enterprise. This column outlines what has to change.