MENA Knowledge Bulletin - October 2015

 Recent Studies

The study documents Egypt’s progress toward, and identifies reform priorities for, ending extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity in a sustainable manner.  The top three priorities for Egypt are found to be macroeconomic stabilization, continued energy subsidy reform, and improvement in public governance. Beyond these, the study assesses sector-specific policies through the lens of governance reform needs, direct effect on poverty and shared prosperity, extent of the effect, and timeframe. Private-sector-led job creation, spatial integration and inclusion are seen to be critical for meeting the aspirations of the Egyptian people, especially the young generation, and bringing shared prosperity to all.
Report by a multidisciplinary team led by Tara Vishwananth

This study traces the economic effects of the sanctions removal on the world oil market, on Iran’s trading partners, and on the Iranian economy. The study indicates that Iran will benefit greatly from the sanctions deal, allowing Iran the opportunity to put in place a policy framework enabling maximum use of the windfall and put the economy on a path of sustained economic growth. Learn more.

Report:English | بالعربية | فارسی | Français,by Shantayanan Devarajan and Lili Mottaghi.
Press release
English | Farsi

This report highlights that Palestine’s growth model, underpinned by donor aid, is unsustainable due to the recent flagging of donor support and inadequate private investment. The analysis finds that Palestinians are getting poorer, and competitiveness of the economy, particularly industry and agriculture, has been progressively eroding since the signing of the Oslo accords. Against the backdrop of weak economic growth, reduced donor aid, and temporary suspension of revenue payments by the Government of Israel, the Palestinian Authority’s reform efforts have not been able to avoid another year with a financing gap.

This study identifies the main governance problems state owned enterprises in MENA and their main impacts on economic development in the region. Over the last two decades, MENA countries have undergone corporatization processes, along with some privatizations, aimed typically at reducing subsidies and public funding to SOEs. In several countries, some public-private partnership (PPP) arrangements were developed. Despite such major reforms, the results have usually been mixed at best, with the remaining governance problems characterized by overemployment (exacerbated since the Arab Spring), recruitment of cronies, fiscal risks and pervasive opacity.
Report by Gael J. R. F. Raballand,Gilles Marie Veuillot,Lydia Habhaband Philippe De Meneval.

Recent Working Papers
This paper combines newly available data on the 2014 distribution of Syrian refugees across sub-regions of Turkey with the Turkish Labor Force Survey, to assess the impact on Turkish labor market conditions. Using a novel instrument, the analysis finds that while there is net displacement, the inflow of refugees also creates higher-wage formal jobs, allowing for occupational upgrading of Turkish workers.
WB Policy Research Working Paper #WPS7402,by Ximena Vanessa Del Carpio and Mathis Christoph Wagner.

The paper provides an example from Jordan, where the internationally comparable approach of handling the data from repeat visits within a year yields a poverty rate that is 26 percent greater than the rate obtained from a single annual visit.
WB Policy Research Working Paper #WPS7373,by Dean Mitchell Jolliffe and Umar Serajuddin.

This paper estimates the impacts of the 2012 petroleum subsidies reform on household welfare and government revenues. It also simulates distributional and fiscal impacts from ending electricity sector subsidies.
Policy Research Working Paper #WPS7313, by Aziz Atamanov, Jon Robbert Jellema and Umar Serajuddin.

This paper investigates which sector greenfield foreign direct investments are most affected by political instability. Based on analysis of quarterly greenfield investments flows into Arab countries during the period from 2003 to 2012, the paper shows that political instability is associated with significantly reduced investment inflows in the non-resource tradable sectors. By contrast, investment in natural resource sectors and non-tradable activities appear insensitive to such risks. Political instability is thus associated with increased reliance on non-tradables and aggravated resource dependence.

World Bank Economic Review, June 2015 pp. 1-26, by Martijn Burger, Elena Ianchovichina and Bob Rijkers.


  • Oct 25, 2015