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Fifty Years of Fiscal Policy in the Arab Region

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  • Ishac Diwan

    () (Harvard University)

  • Tarik Akin

Abstract

The paper looks at the evolution of public finance in a select number of MENA countries over the past 50 years. The review covers the size of government, how it is financed, and the composition of expenditures and revenue. The size of government expenditures has swung dramatically over time, moving from an average in the region of over 50% of GDP in the 1980s to about 25% of GDP in the 2000s. We evaluates how such changes were implemented over time and assess the current fiscal situation in light of the inheritance of the past. We also evaluate the extent to which these trends correspond to the various political economy stories used to characterize the past and the lead-up to the uprisings of 2011.

Suggested Citation

  • Ishac Diwan & Tarik Akin, 2015. "Fifty Years of Fiscal Policy in the Arab Region," Working Papers 914, Economic Research Forum, revised May 2015.
  • Handle: RePEc:erg:wpaper:914
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Alberto Alesina & Filipe R. Campante & Guido Tabellini, 2008. "Why is Fiscal Policy Often Procyclical?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(5), pages 1006-1036, September.
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    3. Malik, Adeel & Awadallah, Bassem, 2013. "The Economics of the Arab Spring," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 296-313.
    4. Imam Patrick Amir & Jacobs Davina, 2014. "Effect of Corruption on Tax Revenues in the Middle East," Review of Middle East Economics and Finance, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-24, April.
    5. Henry,Clement Moore & Springborg,Robert, 2010. "Globalization and the Politics of Development in the Middle East," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521519397, September.
    6. Allan Drazen, 2001. "The Political Business Cycle After 25 Years," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2000, Volume 15, pages 75-138 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Robinson, James A. & Torvik, Ragnar & Verdier, Thierry, 2006. "Political foundations of the resource curse," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 447-468, April.
    8. Alberto Alesina & Nouriel Roubini & Gerald D. Cohen, 1997. "Political Cycles and the Macroeconomy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262510944, March.
    9. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
    10. Marcus Noland & Howard Pack, 2007. "Arab Economies in a Changing World, The," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 3931.
    11. Henry,Clement Moore & Springborg,Robert, 2010. "Globalization and the Politics of Development in the Middle East," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521737449, September.
    12. Espinoza, Raphael & Fayad, Ghada & Prasad, Ananthakrishnan, 2013. "The Macroeconomics of the Arab States of the Gulf," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199683796.
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