How exceptional are patterns of public sector employment in the Middle East and North Africa? This column reports three observations based on evidence from the World Bank’s Worldwide Bureaucracy Indicators for Djibouti, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia.
The countries of the Middle East and North Africa desperately need a new social contract to meet the demands of a growing, increasingly disillusioned youth population. As this Project Syndicate column argues, one crucial prerequisite for that is a new ecosystem for the creation, dissemination and discussion of ideas.
Using the prospect of a flood of refugees as a bargaining chip in international negotiations, the government is happy to subsist on foreign exchange reserves while waiting to collect geopolitical rents. Yet as this Project Syndicate column argues, there is reason to hope that this strategy, which has already impoverished half the population, will fail.
Egyptian firms have operated subject to low and stagnating productivity. This column outlines the recent trends in business conditions and the drivers of the low productivity and slow growth rate – and makes some recommendations for policy.
How did Lebanon’s economy collapse – and what happens now? This column from The Washington Post outlines what you need to know.
To what extent is Egypt’s labour market becoming polarised into well paid high-skilled occupations and low-wage manual jobs? This column reports evidence of marked wage compression in absolute and relative terms along the occupational spectrum; deskilling of college-educated workers once they join the workforce; and a needless escalation in demand for higher education.