14 Items

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Analysis & Opinions - Economic Research Forum

Access to finance for Egypt’s private sector during the pandemic

| May 11, 2021

In response to the global pandemic, public authorities in Egypt responded with a comprehensive package aimed at tackling the health emergency and supporting economic activity. This column examines how private sector firms perceived ease of access to finance before and after the emergence of Covid-19 in 2020.

    Book Chapter - VoxEU

    How did Egypt soften the impact of Covid-19?

    | Feb. 23, 2021

    The Covid-19 pandemic has drastically disrupted people’s lives, livelihoods, and economic conditions around the world. The global shock has resulted in a tourism standstill (Djankov 2020), significant capital flight (Djankov and Panizza 2020), and a slowdown in remittances (Nonvide 2020), resulting in an urgent balance-of-payments need. Egypt responded to the crisis with a comprehensive package aimed at tackling the health emergency and supporting economic activity. The Ministry of Finance acted swiftly to allocate resources to the health sector, provide targeted support to the most severely impacted sectors, and expand social safety net programmes to protect the most vulnerable. Similarly, the Central Bank of Egypt adopted a broad set of measures, including lowering the policy rate and postponing repayments of existing credit facilities. The next section highlights the experience of firms in Egypt following these policies.

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    Journal Article - Routledge

    Political Connections Reduce Job Creation: Firm-level Evidence from Lebanon

    | Dec. 15, 2020

    Using firm-level data, we document that politically connected firms (PCFs) create more jobs than unconnected firms in Lebanon. We observe, however, that the presence of PCFs in a sector is correlated with lower job creation. Although causality is difficult to establish due to endogeneity issues, we find that PCFs expand, and non-PCFs retract, more around elections. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that unfair competition by PCFs hurts unconnected competitors so much that aggregate employment growth in the sector is affected negatively.

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    Analysis & Opinions

    Late-movers outperform first-movers in export markets

    | Sep. 26, 2020

    The relationship between first-movers and late-movers in export markets has important policy implications. First-movers need to be productive enough to pay market entry costs; in turn, they generate information externalities for late-movers. This column uses a unique disaggregated export-level customs dataset to test whether first-movers outperform late-movers in export markets. Using a variety of specifications and controlling for demand and supply shocks, it shows that, surprisingly, late-movers outperform first-movers. Furthermore, this effect is mainly driven by a differential in export quantities, not prices. 

    Anti-government demonstrators burn tires to block a road in Beirut on Tuesday.

    (Bilal Hussein/AP)

    Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

    Why do foreign donors face a tough choice in dealing with Lebanon’s economic crisis?

    | July 29, 2020

    Lebanon is facing its gravest economic and political crisis since the end of civil war in 1990 — and the situation was already dire before the pandemic hit. In early March, the country defaulted on $1.2 billion in foreign debt, the resulting free-fall of the Lebanese lira adding to a deep financial crisis.

    Lebanese soldiers secure a bank, after the anti-government protesters try to destroy banks windows during a protest against the Lebanese central bank's governor Riad Salameh and against the deepening financial crisis, at Hamra trade street, in Beirut, Lebanon.

    (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

    Journal Article - Lebanese Center for Policy Studies

    Public Resource Allocation in Lebanon: How Uncompetitive is CDR’s Procurement Process?

    | July 23, 2020

    Lebanon is facing unprecedented intertwined crises: Its banking sector is largely insolvent, its currency has significantly depreciated, and its debt is unsustainable. Lurking behind this is the country’s ailing and neglected infrastructure, which is essential to kick-start economic growth. Poor quality of roads, limited access to water, and chronic power shortages have cemented Lebanon’s ranking among the worst in overall quality of infrastructure compared to countries with similar levels of economic development.

    Sanctions oil

    AP

    Journal Article - Oxford University Press

    Sanctions and export deflection: evidence from Iran

    | Apr. 12, 2017

    Do export sanctions cause export deflection? Data on Iranian non-oil exporters between January 2006 and June 2011 shows that two-thirds of these exports were deflected to non-sanctioning countries after sanctions were imposed in 2008, and that at this time aggregate exports actually increased. Exporting firms reduced prices and increased quantities when exporting to a new destination, however, and suffered welfare losses as a result.