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The Effects of Fiscal Policieson the Economic Development of Women in the Middle East and North Africa

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  • Nicole Laframboise
  • Tea Trumbic
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    Abstract

    Statistics indicate that the economic and social development of women in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) compares unfavorably with most regions in the world. This paper assesses the influence of government expenditure and taxation policies on the economic and social welfare of women in the region. On the expenditure side, we test the explanatory power of public social spending in the determination of key female social indicators. We find that the relatively weak social outcomes for MENA women are not explained by the amount of government social spending, suggesting the answer lies in the efficiency and reach of present spending. With respect to taxation, the main issues in the literature on gender bias in taxation are highlighted and applied in a general manner to the MENA context. Some simple policy recommendations are suggested.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 03/244.

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    Length: 32
    Date of creation: 01 Dec 2003
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:03/244

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    Related research

    Keywords: Development; Gender equality; Government expenditures; Taxation; public spending; public expenditure; female literacy; gender bias; gender inequality; government spending; tax systems; female mortality; gender issues; government expenditure; tax administrations; education of women; tax revenues; female labor; status of women; female labor force participation; female labor force; tax system; tax rates; tax revenue; public finance; girls; female education; tax reforms; child mortality; fiscal policy; gender perspectives; forms of gender; family units; child care; poor women; female illiteracy; tax administration; female population; household income; tax evasion; fiscal reforms; level of education of women; fiscal sustainability; gender gaps; gender analysis; fiscal data; gender considerations; protection of women; educational gender gaps; fiscal position; national budget; tax ratio; participation of women; fiscal policies; expenditure policy; fiscal deficit; forms of discrimination; maternal mortality; gender gap;

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    1. Ravallion, Martin, 2001. "Growth, inequality, and poverty : looking beyond averages," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2558, The World Bank.
    2. Bidani, Benu & Ravallion, Martin, 1997. "Decomposing social indicators using distributional data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 125-139, March.
    3. Karnit Flug & Antonio Spilimbergo & Erik Wachtenheim, 1996. "Investment in Education: Do Economic Volatility and Credit Constraints Matter?," Research Department Publications 4000, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    4. Robert J. Barro, 1991. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," NBER Working Papers 3120, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Lant Pritchett & Lawrence H. Summers, 1996. "Wealthier is Healthier," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(4), pages 841-868.
    6. Le Grand, Julian, 1987. "Inequalities in health : Some international comparisons," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1-2), pages 182-191.
    7. Galor, Oded & Weil, David N, 1996. "The Gender Gap, Fertility, and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 374-87, June.
    8. Katharina Michaelowa, 2000. "Dépenses d'éducation, qualité de l'éducation et pauvreté : L'exemple de cinq pays d'Afrique francophone," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 157, OECD Publishing.
    9. Ke-young Chu & Hamid Reza Davoodi & Sanjeev Gupta, 2000. "Income Distribution and Tax and Government Social Spending Policies in Developing Countries," IMF Working Papers 00/62, International Monetary Fund.
    10. Chu, K.-y. & Davoodi, H. & Gupta, S., 2000. "Income Distribution and Tax, and Government Social Spending Policies in Developing Countries," Research Paper 214, World Institute for Development Economics Research.
    11. Paulo Silva Lopes, 2002. "A Comparative Analysis of Government Social Spending Indicators and their Correlation with Social Outcomes in Sub-Saharan Africa," IMF Working Papers 02/176, International Monetary Fund.
    12. Stephen Knowles & Paula K. Lorgelly, 2002. "Are educational gender gaps a brake on economic development? Some cross-country empirical evidence," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(1), pages 118-149, January.
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