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Corruption, bureaucracy and the difficulty of conducting commerce in an open and transparent manner make developing new business in the Middle East and North Africa particularly challenging. In this incisive World Bank report, analysts Marc Schiffbauer, Abdoulaye Sy, Sahar Hussain, Hania Sahnoun and Philip Keefer examine why Algeria, Djibouti, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, West Bank and Gaza, and Yemen experience high unemployment, low productivity, opaque policies and pivotal industries heavily tied to powerful politicians. The authors examine the problems that cronyism cause, using new data available in the aftermath of the Arab Spring to quantify the cost of corruption. getAbstract considers their painstaking report important reading for executives, investors, policy makers and leaders of nongovernmental organizations.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What factors hamper productivity and growth in the Middle East and North Africa,
  • How political cronyism hurts labor markets and stifles competition, and
  • How policy makers can foster greater and more equal growth and opportunity.
 

About the Authors

Marc Schiffbauer is a senior economist at the World Bank, where Abdoulaye Sy, Sahar Hussain and consultant Hania Sahnoun are economists. Philip Keefer is a principal adviser at the Inter-American Development Bank.

 

Summary

Business Favoritism
Government policies and business practices that prioritize personal relationships and encourage favoritism are common in many countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). These approaches reduce competition and create a biased environment that constrains economic...

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