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Pensions in the Middle East and North Africa: Time for Change

This is the first comprehensive assessment of pension systems in the Middle East and North Africa. While other regions-Central Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America, in particular-have been actively introducing reforms to their pension systems, Middle East and North African countries have lagged behind. This is explained, in part, by the common belief that, because demographics remain favorable-the countries are young and the labor force is expanding rapidly-financial problems are far in the future; as a result, pension reform does not have to be a priority in the broader policy agenda. However, the authors show that aging is not the only factor behind a financial crisis; the problem is the generosity of the current schemes. Moreover, badly designed benefit formulas and eligibility conditions introduce unnecessary economic distortions and make the systems vulnerable to adverse distributional transfers. The book does not present a general model that could solve the problems of all pension systems in MENA countries. Instead the authors focus on outlining a framework for guiding discussions on pension reform and making objective policy choices.

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This book is provided by The World Bank in its series World Bank Publications with number 7427 and published in 2005.
ISBN: 0-8213-6185-6
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbpubs:7427
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  1. Jeannine Bailliu & Helmut Reisen, 1998. "Do funded pensions contribute to higher aggregate savings? A cross-country analysis," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 134(4), pages 692-711, December.
  2. James, Estelle & Edwards, Alejandra Cox & Wong, Rebecca, 2003. "The gender impact of pension reform : a cross-country analysis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3074, The World Bank.
  3. Holzmann, Robert, 1998. "Financing the transition to multipillar," Social Protection Discussion Papers 20052, The World Bank.
  4. Rina Bhattacharya & Tarik Yousef & Pierre Dhonte, 2000. "Demographic Transition in the Middle East; Implications for Growth, Employment, and Housing," IMF Working Papers 00/41, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Bosworth, Barry & Burtless, Gary, 2004. "Pension Reform and Saving," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 57(3), pages 703-27, September.
  6. Larry Willmore, 2004. "Universal Pensions in Low Income Countries," Public Economics 0412002, EconWPA.
  7. Whitehouse, Edward, 1999. "The tax treatment of funded pensions," Social Protection Discussion Papers 20126, The World Bank.
  8. Philip R. Gerson & G. A. Mackenzie & Peter S. Heller & Alfredo Cuevas, 2001. "Pension Reform and the Fiscal Policy Stance," IMF Working Papers 01/214, International Monetary Fund.
  9. Schwarz, Anita M. & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli, 1999. "Taking stock of pension reforms around the world," Social Protection Discussion Papers 20533, The World Bank.
  10. Disney, Richard, 1999. "Notional accounts as a pension reform strategy : an evaluation," Social Protection Discussion Papers 21302, The World Bank.
  11. Iglesias, Augusto & Palacios, Robert J., 2000. "Managing public pension reserves - Part I : evidence from the international experience," Social Protection Discussion Papers 21311, The World Bank.
  12. Holzmann, Robert & Palacios, Robert & Zviniene, Asta, 2004. "Implicit pension debt: issues, measurement and scope in international perspective," Social Protection Discussion Papers 30153, The World Bank.
  13. Disney, Richard & Whitehouse, Edward, 2001. "Cross-country comparisons of pensioners’ incomes," MPRA Paper 16345, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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