1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook on the Middle East Economy

Edited By Hassan Hakimian Copyright 2021
    404 Pages 115 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    404 Pages 115 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    This Handbook captures the salient features of Middle Eastern economies and critically examines the public policy responses required to address the challenges and opportunities across the region. Bringing together wide-ranging perspectives from carefully selected and renowned subject specialists, the collection fills a gap in this relatively young and growing academic field.

    Combining discussion of theory and empirical evidence, the book maps out the evolution of Middle East economics as a field within area studies and applied development economics. Presented in six thematic sections, the book enables the reader to gain a comprehensive understanding of the region’s main economic themes and issues:

    • Growth and development in comparative perspectives

    • Labour force and human development

    • Natural resources, resource curse and trade

    • Poverty, inequality and social policy

    • Institutions and transition to democracy

    • Corruption, conflict and refugees

    Providing an overview of the principal economic problems, policies and performances relating to the countries in the Middle East and North Africa region, this collection will be a key resource for upper-level undergraduates, graduates and scholars with an interest in Middle East economics, applied development economics, development studies and area studies.


    1. Introduction
    2. Hassan Hakimian

      Section I. Growth and Development in Comparative Perspectives

    3. Explaining Growth in the Middle East
    4. Jeffrey B. Nugent

    5. Is MENA Exceptional? Evidence from Structuralist and Comparative Perspectives
    6. Julia C Devlin

      Section II. Labour Force and Human Development

    7. Arab Human Development in Comparative Context
    8. Khalid Abu-Ismail and Niranjan Sarangi

    9. Private Returns to Investment in Education in MENA Countries
    10. Aysit Tansel

    11. Women’s Employment and Labour Force Participation: Puzzles, Problems and Research Needs
    12. Massoud Karshenas and Valentine M. Moghadam

      Section III. Natural Resources, Resource Curse and Trade

    13. Can the GCC Economies Escape the Oil Curse?
    14. Raimundo Soto

    15. From Oil Rents to Inclusive Growth: Lessons from the MENA Region
    16. Hassan Hakimian

    17. Understanding Water Conflicts in the MENA Region: A Comparative Analysis Using a Restructured Water Poverty Index
    18. Hatem Jemmali and Caroline A Sullivan

    19. Trade and Economic Growth in the MENA Region: Do Trade in Goods and Trade in Services Differ in their Impact on Growth?
    20. Fida Karam and Chahir Zaki

      Section IV. Poverty, Inequality and Social Policy

    21. Poverty and Vulnerability in the MENA Region
    22. Khalid Abu-Ismail

    23. Measuring Inequality in the Middle East
    24. Facundo Alvaredo, Lydia Assouad and Thomas Piketty

    25. Inequalities in Early Childhood Development in the Middle East and North Africa Caroline Krafft and Safaa El-Kogali
    26. Social Policy in the MENA Region
    27. Mahmood Messkoub

      Section V. Institutions and Transition to Democracy

    28. Religion and Politics: Why the West got Rich and the Middle East Did Not
    29. Jared Rubin

    30. Islam and Economic Development
    31. David Cobham and Abdallah Zouache

    32. The Arab Spring, and after: Economic Features and Policy Challenges
    33. David Cobham and Abdallah Zouache

    34. The Youth Bulge: The Mismeasured, Misunderstood and Mistreated Arab Youth
    35. Zafiris Tzannatos

    36. Arab Development and the Transition to Democracy
    37. Samir Makdisi

      Section VI. Corruption, Conflict and Refugees

    38. A Pyramid of Privilege: How Cronyism Shapes Business-State Relationship in the Middle East
    39. Izak Atiyas, Ishac Diwan and Adeel Malik

    40. Refugees in the MENA Region: Historical Overview, Effects and Challenges
    41. Jeffrey B. Nugent

    42. Gendered Socioeconomic Impacts of Conflict in the Middle East

    Jennifer C. Olmsted


    Hassan Hakimian is Professor of Economics and Director of the Middle Eastern Studies Department (MESD) at Hamad Bin Khalifa University in Qatar and Emeritus Professor at SOAS University of London. During 2010–19, he was Director of the London Middle East Institute (LMEI) and Reader in the Economics Department at SOAS University of London. Dr Hakimian is a Founding Member and a past President of the International Iranian Economic Association (IIEA), a Research Fellow and Chair of the Advisory Committee of the Economic Research Forum (ERF) in Cairo. In 2003 he launched the Routledge Political Economy of the Middle East and North Africa series.