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Inclusive Economic Institutions in the Gulf Cooperation Council States: Current Status and Theoretical Implications

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  • Kaya Abdullah

    ()

  • Tsai I-Tsung

    () (Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, Abu Dhabi, UAE)

Abstract

While the social conflict theory (SCT) suggests that absolute monarchies will not tolerate inclusive economic institutions, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries have regularly achieved above global average ratings for property rights protection, entry barriers, disruptive wealth redistribution and corruption. This paper discusses the extent to which GCC states have potential to further improve their institutional quality. We explore whether inclusive economic institutions may emerge in GCC states, such as: (1) regional economic integration and competition which alleviate rulers’ capability to expropriate private property and ease entry barriers to the market, (2) rulers of resource rich economies sustain political power with control of natural resources as opposed to the extraction of private property; and (3) prospect of long-term gain for the ruler incentivizes the adoption of a market-based economy. Strong state involvement in manufacturing and the monopoly of some services, the effect of tribalism in economic affairs and the distribution of resources, as well as a sponsorship system for foreign workers in these states may all impede the development of a truly competitive and free economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Kaya Abdullah & Tsai I-Tsung, 2016. "Inclusive Economic Institutions in the Gulf Cooperation Council States: Current Status and Theoretical Implications," Review of Middle East Economics and Finance, De Gruyter, vol. 12(2), pages 139-173, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:rmeecf:v:12:y:2016:i:2:p:139-173:n:1
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    References listed on IDEAS

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