Is the Egyptian labor market post-revolution in a weaker position?

Egypt’s young people have enormous potential to drive the economic and social revitalization of their country, yet this critical sector of the population represents the vast majority of Egypt’s unemployed and underemployed.  Overall unemployment reached 13% in the fourth quarter of 2012 (CAPMAS 2012); in which youth market labor force (ages 15-24) grew 3.1% per year 1998-2006, whereas it  contracted to 4.2% in 2006-2012.

The second session in the ERF Conference on “The Egyptian Labor Market in a Revolutionary Era: Results from the 2012 Survey” focused on the main labor markets trends in Egypt. Two papers were presented in which they complement each other; Dr. Ragui Assaad presented the first paper “The evolution of labor supply and unemployment in the Egyptian Economy: 1998 – 2012“.

This paper analyzes the evolution of labor supply and unemployment in Egypt in the period from 1999 to 2012, focusing on the impact of the demographic phenomenon known as the youth bulge and the impact of the world financial crisis and the marked economic slowdown following the January 25th 2011 revolution.  It was found that the female share of the unemployed has increased from 54% in 1998 to 63% in 2012 despite the fact that they are only 23% of the labor force

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LACEA 2012 Annual Meeting, Lima, Perú



The 17th Annual LACEA Meeting kicked off today in Lima, Perú. Hosted by Universidad del Pacifico (UP), the annual meeting of the Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association (LACEA) and the Latin American Meeting of the Econometric Society (Lames) will take place from November 1st – 3rd, 2012. As last year, 2012 LACEA and LAMES meetings will share a common program, under a single local organization.

Topics to be covered at the Meeting will include (but not limited to):

–          The shortage of safe assets

–          Knowledge growth and the allocation of time

–          Financial crises: Why they occur and what we can do about them

–          Economic mobility and the rise of the Latin American Middle Class

–          Room foe Development – Housing Markets in Latin America and the Carribbean

–          Eurozone spillovers and policy responses

–          Quality of education in Latin America and the Caribbean: The importance of teachers

–          Inequality in the world: Facts, perceptions and public policy

–          Launch of the World Development Report on Jobs

Read the daily blog on GDNet to catch up on plenaries and parallels discussions and listen to interviews from speakers and participants.

Follow @Connect2GDNet for live updates and comments on discussion ( #LACEA2012Lima  &  #LaceaLames2012 )

Sessions from the Meeting will be broadcasted on the web

Whither macro-prudential policies after the crisis?

The session, Financial Crisis and the role of Macro-Prudential Policies, sponsored by the World Bank Institute, focused on the role of macro-prudential policies, regulation and financial supervision in the post-crisis scenario. As was proven by the emergence of the crisis, traditional macro-prudential regulations were insufficient; hence, there is room for discussion of new and innovative approaches that may help to achieve financial stability.

The session showcased various innovative viewpoints on prudential policies to deal with the adverse changes in macroeconomic and financial conditions, as well as systemic risk. The session highlighted the determinants and tools that can be used for identifying, analysing and curtailing the next possible financial crisis. The panellists represented both national Central Banks and International Financial Institutions (IFIs).

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Expanding the reach of financial services

Audience at the 12th GDN Annual Conference

Audience at the 12th GDN Annual Conference

The discussion held during the session, Financial Crisis and Financial Inclusion: What we know, and what can be done? shed light on potential alternatives for financing development in a post-crisis scenario. The event showcased various case studies from Latin America and Asia on policy options carried out to promote credit access to a wider spectrum of the population. In the session, determinants and alternatives for financial inclusion were thoroughly examined, as well as potential obstacles which countries could face when implementing credit-promoting processes.

Luis Ballesteros, Project Specialist and Researcher at Mexico’s National Civil Protection System, delivered compelling evidence on increased participation of poor households in the financial system. His investigation of India and Mexico conveyed an important message on the role of social capital in household decisions about insurance service purchases. Ballesteros argued that both countries had in place a range of feasible alternatives which hold potential for extending financial services to the poor.

He argued that the existence of social capital among the poorest populations might encourage them to access financial services such as insurance. His research in Kalhandi, India showed how low-income groups presented above-average insurance acquisition rates due to their being part of tightly-knit social groups.

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The Future of Aid

As 2010 comes to an end, the effectiveness of the fundamental mechanisms of the current foreign aid system has become a much discussed and ever more pertinent issue. Robert Riddle in his 2007 book Does Aid Really Work? highlights the traditional principle that underpins all foreign aid as:

Those who can should help those who are in extreme need…What could be simpler?

However, as Riddle elaborates, the realities of foreign aid are far from simple. Indeed, the current global financial crises, climate change challenges, natural disasters and political volatility are all contributing factors in an increasingly complex international concern.

These issues have resulted in an extensive diversity in both the attitude and approach to aid.  Some, such as William Easterly and Dambisa Moyo, argue that foreign aid has stunted the growth of countries in Africa and instead created a circle of aid dependency, corruption and further poverty.

Other aid practitioners believe that aid can be successful, but only if delivered correctly.

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GDN 12th Annual Conference Plenary Speaker: Professor Helen Milner

Plenty of leading scholars will address the key issues relating to this year’s conference theme, Financing Development in a Post-Crisis World. Five plenaries top and tail each of the three day’s proceedings, with one of the most exciting taking a particularly topical theme of Development Aid: The Emerging New Landscape.

The international context of foreign aid has changed profoundly in the last few years due to multiple, interrelated global crises and challenges. Food insecurity, volatile energy and commodity prices, climate change, and above all, the global financial crisis, have recently left many fragile countries struggling to cope. This session asks the demanding question of what the next decade might hold for aid effectiveness; explores how ‘aid’ is defined; and promises to look at the macroeconomic impact of aid and the recent emergence of new donors from the South.

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Communiqué: 11th Annual Global Development Conference Delivers Key Messages on Economic and Regional Integration

There is no learning without dialogue, and no action without reasonable consensus. This assumption was put to the test over the course of the recent 11th Annual Global Development Conference, Prague. The event was framed by one central question – Regional and Economic Integration: Quo Vadis? The 450 participants from around the world attending the event had their own distinct views on exactly where regional and economic integration is going. It is these views we wanted – and the world needs – to hear.

The financial crisis that has rocked the global economy has had, and continues to have, dangerous repercussions for international development. Read more of this post

Global Financial Governance: Quo Vadis?

The final Roundtable Session of the GDN conference discussed Global Financial Governance, and revealed a range of views and perspectives on the causes of the recent crisis, and some consensus on what needs to be done to avoid – or at least mitigate the worse effects of – the next one.

Ernesto Zedillo, Chair of GDN and Director of Yale Center for the Study of Globalisation, made the simple case for new forms of global governance. He said “We have more intense globalisation, more interdependence and therefore we need more global governance.” He said that the initial impetus for such reform during the 1990s, catalysed in part by the late Willy Brandt’s book ‘Our Global Neighbourhood’, had gone nowhere.

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Globalization Under Threat, and yet Opportunity Exists

Anticipation was in the air as delegates awaited the opening words of GDN President Gerardo della Paolera at the first plenary of 11th Annual Global Development Conference. Paolera framed the outline of the conference, and underlined the crucial role the participants would play in driving forward regional and economic integration, and how it should be framed in the current financial crisis, and future crises.

Current and future responses will play a pivotal role in how the world reacts and meets such challenges. Underpinning this is the need for increased interdependence, a shared approach encompassing the free flow of ideas and best practices.

The Czech Minister of European Affairs, Juraj Chmiel welcomed delegates to Prague, but also took the opportunity to offer some warnings for the global community. He warned that “globalization should not be made the scapegoat of the financial crisis, because it’s the major engine for progress. Protectionism is not the cure for economic difficulties.” Read more of this post

GDN Conference Calls for New Global Financial Authority

Professor Guillermo Calvo has called for the creation of a new Global Financial Authority which would protect the global economy from future financial crises. He was speaking at a press conference to launch the forthcoming 11th Annual Global Development Network conference in Prague on Friday January 15th, the day before the conference officially opened.

The esteemed economist who predicted the 1994 ‘Tequila Crisis’ in Mexico, the Russian financial crisis, and the recent global financial crisis – despite many claiming that it was an impossibility – said that lessons must be learned if the world is to cope with future financial crises. He said that the sub-prime mortgage, originally little more than a minor problem, turned into a crisis because it expanded beyond the authority of national Central Banks. He added that it was completely understandable that politicians make policy responses to local circumstances, because they are put into positions of power by local people. But this makes obvious the need for a higher order institution to work outside of national borders. Read more of this post