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The Effects of Fiscal Policieson the Economic Development of Women in the Middle East and North Africa

  • Nicole Laframboise
  • Tea Trumbic
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    Statistics indicate that the economic and social development of women in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) compares unfavorably with most regions in the world. This paper assesses the influence of government expenditure and taxation policies on the economic and social welfare of women in the region. On the expenditure side, we test the explanatory power of public social spending in the determination of key female social indicators. We find that the relatively weak social outcomes for MENA women are not explained by the amount of government social spending, suggesting the answer lies in the efficiency and reach of present spending. With respect to taxation, the main issues in the literature on gender bias in taxation are highlighted and applied in a general manner to the MENA context. Some simple policy recommendations are suggested.

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    Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 03/244.

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    Length: 32
    Date of creation: 01 Dec 2003
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:03/244
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    1. Ravallion, Martin, 2001. "Growth, Inequality and Poverty: Looking Beyond Averages," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(11), pages 1803-1815, November.
    2. Katharina Michaelowa, 2000. "Dépenses d'éducation, qualité de l'éducation et pauvreté : L'exemple de cinq pays d'Afrique francophone," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 157, OECD Publishing.
    3. Galor, Oded & Weil, David N, 1996. "The Gender Gap, Fertility, and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 374-87, June.
    4. Flug, Karnit & Spilimbergo, Antonio & Wachtenheim, Erik, 1998. "Investment in education: do economic volatility and credit constraints matter?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 465-481, April.
    5. Barro, R.J., 1989. "Economic Growth In A Cross Section Of Countries," RCER Working Papers 201, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
    6. Le Grand, Julian, 1987. "Inequalities in health : Some international comparisons," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1-2), pages 182-191.
    7. Pritchett, Lant & Summers, Lawrence H., 1993. "Wealthier is healthier," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1150, The World Bank.
    8. Chu, K.-y. & Davoodi, H. & Gupta, S., 2000. "Income Distribution and Tax, and Government Social Spending Policies in Developing Countries," Research Paper 214, World Institute for Development Economics Research.
    9. Ke-young Chu & Hamid Reza Davoodi & Sanjeev Gupta, 2000. "Income Distribution and Tax and Government Social Spending Policies in Developing Countries," IMF Working Papers 00/62, International Monetary Fund.
    10. Bidani, Benu & Ravallion, Martin, 1997. "Decomposing social indicators using distributional data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 125-139, March.
    11. Stephen Knowles & Paula K. Lorgelly, 2002. "Are educational gender gaps a brake on economic development? Some cross-country empirical evidence," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(1), pages 118-149, January.
    12. Paulo Silva Lopes, 2002. "A Comparative Analysis of Government Social Spending Indicators and their Correlation with Social Outcomes in Sub-Saharan Africa," IMF Working Papers 02/176, International Monetary Fund.
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