How can governments in the Middle East and North Africa revitalise their economies? This column focuses on two key elements of growth policy that are needed in the region: harnessing digital technologies in a programme similar to the 1960s US moonshot; and promoting free and fair competition to end the cosy relationship between governments and connected firms.
Firm-level political connections are widespread. This column examines whether they affect employment decisions in Lebanon, a country where the majority of university students think that connections are important for finding jobs and many admit to having used them.
Childhood stunting is a serious health problem in Egypt. This column explores what determines its prevalence and how policy initiatives can ameliorate the negative consequences associated with stunting.
What is the impact of mass media – TV, radio, newspapers, the internet and social media – on citizens’ intention to vote in elections? This column reports analysis of survey evidence from Algeria and Tunisia.
Since mid-2017, the quartet of Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has operated a diplomatic, trade and travel boycott of Qatar. This column reports the results of research on the regional business costs of this blockade. The analysis reveals that while Qatar has been shaken by this crisis, the other countries have not gone unscathed, especially Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
After years of maintaining a dysfunctional political economy based on sectarianism and rentierism, Lebanon's ruling elites are being confronted with simultaneous financial, economic and political crises. As this Project Syndicate column argues, the question now is how they respond to a reformist movement demanding fundamental change, including a new political settlement.