This paper deals with income inequality in the selected MENA countries focusing on the dynamics of domestic wage differentiations. The main aim is to identify the sources of inequalities. GDP per capita, share of manufacturing sector, urban share of population, gender participation in the labor force, education and openness may be possible factors. The paper analyzes pay inequalities using a panel regression model where the Theil index is used as the dependent variable. The results show that GDP per capita and female labor force participation have positive (increasing) effects, and openness has a negative (decreasing) effect on pay inequalities in these countries.
Egypt has often been described as a giant sleeping by the Nile. In recent weeks it has woken up and roared with anger. The causes of the huge, unprecedented demonstrations by millions of Egyptians in Cairo and in other parts of the country are both political and economic. The political ones include the lack of democracy exemplified by the fact that the president, Husni Mubarak, has been in power for thirty years and even tried to install his son as his successor. Other closely related factors are the fact that his regime is perceived by the public to be extremely corrupt, which has even become a subject for Egyptian novelists and filmmakers (see `Alaa-al-Aswany’s Yacoubian Building and Khalid al-Khamissi’s Taxi, among others).
This paper investigates the distributional and structural developments of real hourly wages and monthly earnings in Egypt in the last two decades on the basis of three nation-wide labor force sample surveys (the 1988 LFSS, the 1998 ELMS and the 2006 ELMPS). The results reveal that after the initial period of real wage erosion and wage compression (1988-98), both real wages and wage inequality started rising again for most groups in Egypt. In 2006, although the overall wage distribution is much wider, median real wages have sufficiently increased such that the proportion of wage workers that can be classified as low-waged has significantly declined in comparison to 1998.
This paper examines the substantive pros and cons of the multidimensional poverty index (MPI) developed by Oxford University’s Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI). It provides comparative cross-country and country-specific discussion on multidimensional poverty and inequality in the non-income space, with a special reference to the countries in the Arab region. Despite the large degree of subjectivity in selecting the dimensions and the cut-off threshold determining the minimum number of dimensions required to identify whether or not a household is multidimensionally poor, the MPI has an important advantage of capturing more dimensions of human deprivations and includes both the level of human deprivation and a measure of the intensity of poverty using micro survey data.
This article analyzes the impact of remittances on rural income distribution. Because of the tremendous volume of international remittances in the selected case study, it examines only the impact of international (and not internal) remittances on rural inequality. Moreover, the study neglects effects other than remittances that migration may have had on the incomes of’ those who remained behind. Other works treat the impact of migration on the production and investment behavior of nonmigrants.
The paper analyses poverty and inequality changes in South Africa for the period 1996 to 2001 using Census data. To gain a broader picture of wellbeing in South Africa, both income-based and access-based measurement approaches are employed. At the national level, findings from the income-based approach show that inequality has unambiguously increased from 1996 to 2001.
This paper deals with the political economy of inequality in the distribution of consumption expenditure in the Arab region, using consumption expenditure as the best available proxy for the standard of living in developing countries (in contrast to income being the relevant proxy in the advanced countries). Following a brief discussion of the relevant concept of development to be adopted, we discuss the nature of the Arab social contracts that have prevailed in the region since independence and up to the mid-1980s. The study finds that, compared to the world, the Arab region enjoys a medium degree of inequality. This should be understood as the cumulative achievement of the redistributive social contracts. The study also shows that the recent trend, however, is one of increased inequality and discuss these recent trends in the context of tolerance towards inequality during the early stages of development.
Societies that tolerate increasing inequality are said to be endowed with a deep “tunnel effect”. In the absence of the “tunnel effect” developing countries could fall into “development disasters” such as civil wars. We show that a relatively large number of Arab countries experienced “development disasters” over the period since independence.
Finally, the study addresses “inequality traps”, the interplay of socio-political and economic inequalities. Inequality traps are essentially based on the concept of equality of opportunity.
Policies required for dealing with such traps during the process of development are reviewed and are found to be equivalent to the type of policies that were pursued by the Arab countries prior to their succumbing to neo-liberal policy packages of the 1980s and 1990s.
Between 2003 and 2008, the HSRC published its annual flagship publication, State of the Nation. Since the launch of the first edition, the series has captured the attention of public intellectuals, scholars, policymakers and the media in South Africa and abroad. Internationally, the series has been acclaimed as one of the most in-depth and important independent analyses of the national agenda through the lens of the South African political, economic and social context, and has been selected by university departments across the world as prescribed or highly recommended reading. In view of its historically high demand and the need for vibrant national and continental debates.
In Tunisia and Morocco where there is an established tradition of absolute poverty assessments, it is not surprising to see that the definition of poverty employed 30 years ago continued to be used until the end of the 2000s. These metrics have lost relevance, especially in Tunisia whose economy has doubled its mean income over that period. Ideally, absolute poverty measures should be supplemented, not supplanted, by relative poverty measures which focus more on the inability of certain groups to enjoy living standards and activities that are ordinarily observed in a society. For these reasons, this study uses both absolute and relative poverty lines to produce a fuller picture of poverty and inequality patterns in three North-African Countries.
The purpose of the paper is to study spatial disparities between Tunisian’s “delegations” by making up a Spatial Composite Index of Welfare (SCIW) according to a multidimensional perspective. The Exploratory Spatial Data Analysis (ESDA) enables an overview on regional disparities as regard to the main dimensions considered in the analysis. By using spatial econometrics models, we can see how variables related to regional development policies and economic openness can enhance or reduce the SCIW and assess, hence, their role in reducing spatial disparities. The results show that some delegations of the capital city Tunis, from cities of Sousse, Monastir and Sfax are significantly three favoured areas. However, there are at least two areas (composed of delegations from the regions of Northeast and Center-West) clearly disadvantaged. The results of econometric estimates show that economic liberalization and public policy of regional development contribute through their positive impact on SCIW, to the development of the delegations and the reduction of spatial inequalities in Tunisia.