The Economics of the Middle East: A Comparative Approach

ISBN : 9780190879198

James E. Rauch
312 ページ
156 x 235 mm

Countries in the Middle East have very different economies, even if they are often grouped together. In The Economics of the Middle East, James Rauch focuses on the drivers of their distinctiveness, including the effects of their natural endowments, geographic locations, and interactions with the global economy.
This book evaluates the socioeconomic trajectories of three groups of Middle Eastern States: Sub-Saharan African, fuel-endowed, and "Mediterranean." It compares these groups both to each other and to developing countries in other regions with similar characteristics. Rauch draws on basic approaches to economic development to enhance understanding of important issues, such how policies on gender, education, health, and the environment affect development.
His comparative perspective sheds light on how and why the Arab countries, Iran, and Turkey have done better or worse than similar countries in other regions. His analysis throughout is supported by data that are well organized and clearly presented.
Rauch develops new insights on topics as diverse as unemployment, urbanization, corruption, and the importance of intraregional flows of investment and migrants. The result is a fascinating and balanced overview of the socioeconomic performance of the Arab countries, Iran, and Turkey that presents a new lens on the economics of the Middle East.


I. Introduction
A. The Scope of This Book
B. The Human Development Index
C. Three Arab Worlds
D. Human Development in the Three Arab Worlds on the Eve of the Arab Spring
E. Human Development in the Three Arab Worlds After the Arab Spring
F. A Note on Country Groups
II. Historical Perspective
A. Introduction
B. Extensive versus Intensive Growth
C. The Division of the World
D. The Great Divergence
III. International Trade, Natural Resource Rents, and Foreign Direct Investment
A. Introduction
B. International Trade and Industrialization of the Arab Mediterranean and Turkey
C. Manufactured Exports to High-Income Consumers
D. Service Exports to High-Income Consumers: Tourism
E. Natural Resource Rents and OPEC
F. Foreign Direct Investment
IV. Human Resources
A. Introduction
B. Education
C. Health
D. The Demographic Transition
V. Gender Gaps
A. Introduction
B. Education
C. Labor Force Participation
D. Health
VI. Income Inequality, Poverty, Migration, and Unemployment
A. Introduction
B. Income Inequality as Measured by the Gini Index
C. Poverty Headcounts
D. Migration and Remittances
E. Public and Private Sector Expenditure to Reduce Poverty
F. Unemployment and Self-Employment
VII. Environmental Challenges
A. Introduction
B. Water Scarcity and Lack of Access to Basic Drinking Water and Sanitation Services
C. Air Pollution
D. Municipal Waste and Greenhouse Gas Emissions
E. The Consequences of Global Warming for the Arab Countries, Iran, and Turkey
VIII. Government Spending: Urban Infrastructure, Energy Subsidies, and the Military
A. Introduction
B. Urbanization and Strain on Public Finance
C. Urban Primacy
D. Energy Subsidies
E. Military Spending
F. Slums
G. Infrastructure Quality
IX. Political Economy
A. Introduction
B. Corruption, GDP per capita, and Bureaucratic Inefficiency
C. Bureaucratic Performance With Regard to Starting a Business and Enforcing Contracts
D. Politically Connected Firms in Egypt and Tunisia
X. Conclusion: Some Modest Proposals for Policy


James Rauch is Professor of Economics at the University of California, San Diego. He is a Guggenheim Fellow and a Research Associate with the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). He has done extensive research in the Middle East and was a Visiting Scholar at the Institute of Financial Economics in the American University of Beirut.