Far from promoting peace and economic development, infrastructure investment programmes in conflict zones can have the opposite effect. This column reports evidence that the billion dollar US road-building programme in Iraq has led to more not less violence.
A key question put to firms in the World Bank’s Enterprise Surveys focuses on their perceptions of the biggest obstacles to doing business. This column reports evidence from the 2016 survey of establishments in Egypt, which shows how the obstacles that top business people report is influenced by the size of their firms, the industry, the geographical location, the market orientation and the managers’ level of education.
Across the Arabic-speaking world, citizens have once again been taking to the streets. This column, originally published by Brookings, argues that to address the latest protests, Arab governments should choose reform paths that put the initial burden on themselves.
In common with much of the world, the geographically contiguous regions of MENA and South Asia have experienced fertility decline and rising levels of female education, both considered conducive to women’s entry into paid work – yet rates of female labour force participation have remained intransigently low. This column outlines what explains this striking regional feature and potential policy responses given evidence that women’s engagement with the labour market contributes to inclusive growth.
From the Arab Spring to the ‘gilets jaunes’ in France and from anti-Revolution protests in Iran to Hong Kong’s umbrella revolution, it is common to see mass socio-political movements in the early twenty-first century. This column looks back to earlier uprisings – the Turkish student protests that took place between 1978 and 1980 and eventually led to a military coup in 1980 – to explore how exposure to violent political turmoil affects people’s educational and labour market outcomes later in life.
Lebanon is currently hosting around one million refugees from the war in Syria – and given longstanding tensions between the two countries, the question of whether the refugees and their hosts can live harmoniously is one of great policy interest. This column reports the results of a pilot study that aims to measure cooperation between the native and refugee populations.