44 Items

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.

An employee stands at the entrance of the Beirut Stock Exchange in Beirut, Lebanon, Monday, May 6, 2019. The exchange said it is suspending trading due to the open strike declared by the employees of Lebanon's central bank. Hundreds of Lebanese public employees are on strike amid concerns that their salaries and benefits might be cut as the government discusses an austerity budget

AP Photo/Bilal Hussein

Analysis & Opinions

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

| May 11, 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.

Journal Article - Taylor and Francis

Insecurity and political values in the Arab world

| Feb. 05, 2020

Within a few years of the historic Arab uprisings of 2011, popular mobilization dissipated amidst instability in many Arab countries. We trace the relationship between shifting macro-political conditions and individual-level political values in the Middle East, demonstrating that a preference for democracy and political trust are not fixed cultural features of populations but rather can shift rapidly in the face of perceived insecurity. Our empirical analyses employ longitudinal data from the Arab Barometer covering 13 countries and data from the 2015 World Values Survey, which includes both Arab and non-Arab countries in order to benchmark regional developments against global patterns. Our findings contribute to the growing body of research on the political effects of insecurity and oppose culturalist depictions of fixed political attitudes among Muslims in narrow perspectives on the relationship between Islam and democracy.

(AP Photo/Toufik Doudou)

(AP Photo/Toufik Doudou)

Analysis & Opinions - Project Syndicate

Algeria’s Second Arab Spring?

| Mar. 28, 2019

Since February, the long-entrenched regime of Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has been beset by mass protests and demands for economic and political liberalization. The potent mix of anger and hope fueling the demonstrations suggests that the country's elite erred in slow-rolling earlier reforms.

(Economic Research Forum)

(Economic Research Forum)

Journal Article - Economic Research Forum

Is Oil Wealth Good for Private Sector Development?

| March, 2019

When do autocratic rulers in oil-producing countries support private sector development? We argue that the size of oil rents per capita has an important effect on ruler support for the rule of law, respect for private property rights, and other factors that promote private investment.

(POMEPS Studies)

(POMEPS Studies)

Report Chapter - Project on Middle East Political Science

A landing strategy for Saudi Arabia

| January, 2019

With rising population and incomes, the “rentier” mode of development in Saudi Arabia has long been unsustainable. While the issue of fiscal stabilization will occupy policy-making in Saudi Arabia in the short and medium terms, the long-term challenge of finding new sources of growth to complement oil has only been made starker by the recent drop in oil prices. Analysis of the prospects for such reforms in KSA has long been divided between two opposite camps: those who believe that the inadequacies of the rentier model will necessarily usher a doomsday scenario sooner or later, regardless of economic policies; and those who believe the impending crisis can be met by moving from the current mono-sector economy to a modern and diversified knowledge based economy OECD-style.

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The Challenge of “Normalizing” the Saudi Economy

| 2019

This is a publication of selected presentations submitted to Al Rahmaniah Annual Forum in fields of sociology, economics, and international affairs and have pertinent relevance to issues of interest to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This Forum is annually organized by Abdulrahman Al-Sudairy Cultural Centre in Al Ghat province and is attended by more than forty scholars, researchers, and intellectuals from Saudi Arabia, the Arab world, the United States of America and Europe; the forum is sponsored by Abdulrahman Al Sudairy Foundation.

(The Review of International Organizations)

(The Review of International Organizations)

Journal Article

Pyramid capitalism: Cronyism, regulation, and firm productivity in Egypt

| Nov. 14, 2018

We present novel evidence suggesting that cronyism had a negative effect on economic growth in Egypt, during a period when international organizations praised the country for its reforms of business regulation. We identify 385 politically connected firms under the Mubarak regime. This large database allows us to show that 4-digit sectors that experienced crony entry between 1996 and 2006 exhibited lower aggregate employment growth subsequently than those that did not. In manufacturing, labor productivity grew more slowly in sectors that experienced crony entry.