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Demographics in MENA countries: a major driver for economic growth

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  • Yeganeh Forouheshfar

    (Université Paris Dauphine-PSL - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres, IRD - Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres, LEDa - Laboratoire d'Economie de Dauphine - IRD - Institut de Recherche pour le Développement - Université Paris Dauphine-PSL - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, DIAL - Développement, institutions et analyses de long terme)

  • Najat El Mekkaoui

    (Université Paris Dauphine-PSL - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres, IRD - Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres, LEDa - Laboratoire d'Economie de Dauphine - IRD - Institut de Recherche pour le Développement - Université Paris Dauphine-PSL - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, DIAL - Développement, institutions et analyses de long terme)

  • Hippolyte d'Albis

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)

Abstract

MENA region is undergoing rapid demographic transition, where 50% of the population is under the age 25 and high youth unemployment rates are argued to be one of the main sources of political instability. Fighting youth ex- clusion from work is one of the main challenges in the region. In this paper we evaluate the economic impact of the demographic transition for selected coun- tries which experience di_erent speeds of transition, namely: Iran, Morocco and Egypt. The impact of demographic shift on the evolution of human capital stock and physical capital stock, has been highlighted by the literature. Since _nan- cial markets play a crucial role to allocate capital and channel the funds to the productive sector, it is hence fundamental to take into account the role of the _nancial markets in the growth process associated with demographic change. We have developed a general equilibrium overlapping generations model with a cost for capital mobilisation as a proxy for _nancial markets' e_ciency. We have found that the demographic shift will be an important driver for growth in the upcoming decades. Furthermore, our results show that a more e_cient _nancial sector leads to better economic performance. Speci_cally, youth are the primary bene_ciaries: an increase in the _nancial sector e_ciency can reduce up to 8 percentage points of the youngest age group unemployment.

Suggested Citation

  • Yeganeh Forouheshfar & Najat El Mekkaoui & Hippolyte d'Albis, 2019. "Demographics in MENA countries: a major driver for economic growth," PSE Working Papers halshs-02409029, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-02409029
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    1. Ben J. Heijdra & Klaus Prettner, 2020. "Putting People Back into the Picture: Some Studies in Demographic Economics," De Economist, Springer, vol. 168(2), pages 147-152, June.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Financial efficiency; Development; MENA region; Demographic transition;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • E17 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance

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