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Economic growth and investment in the Arab world

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This paper analyses the economic growth performance in the Arab world over the last forty years. The Arab world has managed to reduce poverty performance despite its relatively disappointing growth performance. We relate this poor performance of both oil and non-oil producers to investment. Contrary to widespread belief, we do not find evidence that low quantity of investment is the main of low growth. The decline in the investment rate followed rather than preceded the reduction in the aggregate growth rate. We conclude that the low quality of investment projects is the key determinant of growth. The excessive reliance on public investment, the low quality of financial institutions, the bad business environment (due to political and social instability and to excessive public intervention and overregulation) and the low quality of human capital are important determinants of systematically unproductive investment decisions and, thus, low economic growth.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in its series Economics Working Papers with number 683.

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Date of creation: May 2003
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Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:683

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Keywords: Economic growth; investment; the Arab World;

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  1. Amer Bisat, 1997. "Growth, Investment, and Savings in the Arab Economies," IMF Working Papers 97/85, International Monetary Fund.
  2. Ravallion, Martin & Datt, Gaurav & van de Walle, Dominique, 1991. "Quantifying Absolute Poverty in the Developing World," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 37(4), pages 345-61, December.
  3. Levine, Ross, 1992. "Financial structures and economic development," Policy Research Working Paper Series 849, The World Bank.
  4. William Easterly & Michael Kremer & Lant Pritchett & Lawrence H. Summers, 1993. "Good Policy or Good Luck? Country Growth Performance and Temporary Shocks," NBER Working Papers 4474, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Swan, Trevor W, 2002. "Economic Growth," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 78(243), pages 375-80, December.
  6. T. W. Swan, 1956. "ECONOMIC GROWTH and CAPITAL ACCUMULATION," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 32(2), pages 334-361, November.
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