Middle East Transitions: A Long, Hard Road

  • IMF Working Paper


Since the onset of the Arab Spring, economic uncertainty in Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, and Yemen (Arab Countries in Transition, ACTs) has slowed already sluggish growth; worsened unemployment, particularly of youth; undermined business confidence, affected tourist arrivals, and depressed domestic and foreign direct investment. Furthermore, political and social tensions have constrained reform efforts. Assessing policy options as presented in the voluminous literature on the Arab Spring and based on cross-country experience, this paper concludes that sustainable and inclusive growth calls for a two pronged approach: short term measures that revive growth momentum and partially allay popular concerns; complemented with efforts to adjust the public's expectations and prepare the ground fro structural reforms that will deliver the desired longer term performance.

Image source: World Bank Photo Collection

GD Source: 
Shahid Yusuf
Additional Information: 
Key Words:

Transition economies | Middle East | Egypt | Jordan | Libya | Morocco | Tunisia | Yemen | Unemployment | Economic growth | Economic conditions | Cross country analysis

Publication Category: 
Publication Caption: 
IMF Working Paper
Document Description: 
This working paper was first published by IMF on July 25, 2014. The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the Growth Dialogue. This working paper describes research in progress by the author and is published to elicit comments and to further debase.
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