Review of Middle East Economics and Finance
Ed. by Dibeh, Ghassan / Assaf, Ata / Cobham, David / Hakimian, Hassan / Henry, Clement M.
Technology, Political Economy, and Economic Development in the Middle East and North Africa
Comparing the pace and extent of economic development across the developing regions yields that Arab countries have displaced a weak economic performance over the past 20 years, despite their favorable geo-strategic location and a high density of national and international structural adjustment efforts. Using cross-country regressions, this paper identifies two binding constraints to economic development in the Arab countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA): 1) Most countries are not able to apply or adopt existing technologies efficiently and 2) The economically inefficient allocation of resources is rooted deeply in regional political economy structures. These results challenge the scholarly debate, but can help to understand why international structural adjustment programs that focused on privatization and trade liberalization only showed limited success in the MENA region.
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