This book examines the relationship between demographic growth and economic development in eight Arab countries. Despite a slowdown in demographic growth, as a result of the change in the age structure of the population, the labour force is increasing rapidly. In other parts of the world, similar developments have enhanced economic growth. In the Arab world, however, many of the opportunities presented by demographic transition are being lost, resulting in serious threats to the political stability of the region. The main reason for this is that the region has missed out on industrialization. The book goes beyond conventional analysis to ask two closely related questions. The first is, why were governments so slow in tackling stability? The second is, why has the response been similar in apparently different economies? Answers are provided using new literature in economics and economic history.
Paul Rivlin is the author of three books: The Dynamics of Economic Policy Making in Egypt (1985), The Israeli Economy (1992) and Economic Policy and Performance in the Arab World (2001), as well as numerous monographs, papers, contributions to books, and reports on economic development in the Middle East and on international energy markets, defence, and trade economics. Educated at Cambridge, Harvard and London universities, he taught undergraduate and graduate courses on Middle East Economics at Tel Aviv and Ben Gurion universities and has been a Visiting Professor of Economics at Emory University. He has lectured in the United States, China, India, Japan and Europe.
1. Introduction; 2. Demography and economics; 3. The constraints of history; 4. Comparative economics: the Arab world, East Asia and South America; 5. Egypt: the submerged giant?; 6. Iraq: after destruction; 7. Jordan: from rents to market?; 8. Morocco: reforms that did not cure; 9. Palestine: the making and unmaking of a state; 10. Saudi Arabia: oil wealth and unemployment; 11. Syria: lost potential; 12. Tunisia: unhappy leader; 13. Conclusions: the Arab equilibrium.