Making Sense of Arab Labor Markets: The Enduring Legacy of Dualism
It is well-established that Arab labor markets share certain common characteristics, including an oversized public sector, high unemployment for educated youth, weak private sector dependent on government welfare for their survival, rapid growth in educational attainment, but much of it focused on the pursuit of formal credentials rather than productive skills, and low and stagnant female labor force participation rates. I argue in this paper that all of these features can be explained by the deep and persistent dualism that characterizes Arab labor markets as a result of the use of labor markets by Arab regimes as tool of political appeasement in the context of the "authoritarian bargain" social contract that they have struck with their citizens in the post-independence period. Even as fiscal crises have long destabilized these arrangements in most non-oil Arab countries, culminating in the dramatic political upheavals of the Arab spring revolutions, the enduring legacy of dualism will continue to strongly shape the production and deployment of human capital in Arab economies for some time. This will undoubtedly pose serious challenges to any efforts to transform these economies into dynamic, rapidly growing and more equitable globally competitive economies.
|Date of creation:||Aug 2013|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published in: IZA Journal of Labor & Development, 2014, 3:6|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page: http://www.iza.org
|Order Information:|| Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Ghazal Bayanpourtehrani & Kevin Sylwester, 2013. "Female Labour Force Participation And Religion: A Cross-Country Analysis," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(2), pages 107-133, 04.
- World Bank, 2004. "Gender and Development in the Middle East and North Africa : Women in the Public Sphere," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15036, December.
- Filipe R. Campante & Davin Chor, 2012. "Why Was the Arab World Poised for Revolution? Schooling, Economic Opportunities, and the Arab Spring," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(2), pages 167-88, Spring.
- Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 2010.
"A New Data Set of Educational Attainment in the World, 1950-2010,"
NBER Working Papers
15902, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong Wha, 2013. "A new data set of educational attainment in the world, 1950–2010," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 184-198.
- Robinson, James A & Torvik, Ragnar & Verdier, Thierry, 2002.
"Political Foundations of the Resource Curse,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
3422, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Harris, John R & Todaro, Michael P, 1970. "Migration, Unemployment & Development: A Two-Sector Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(1), pages 126-42, March.
- repec:cup:cbooks:9780521113182 is not listed on IDEAS
- Martin Baldwin-Edwards, 2011. "Labour immigration and labour markets in the GCC countries: national patterns and trends," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 55239, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7573. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.