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  • Author: Ishac Diwan, Philip Keefer, Marc Schiffbauer
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: Using an original database of 469 politically connected firms under the Mubarak regime in Egypt, we explore the economic effects of cronyism. Previous research has shown that cronyism is lucrative. We address numerous questions raised by this research. First, do crony firms receive favorable regulatory treatment? We find that they do: connected firms are more likely to benefit from trade protection, energy subsidies, access to land, and regulatory enforcement. Second, does regulatory capture account for the high value of connected firms? In our sample, connected firms exhibit superior corporate performance relative to unconnected firms and this is systematically related to regulatory capture. Energy subsidies and trade protection, for example, account for the higher profits of politically connected firms. Third, do crony firms hurt growth? We exploit a natural experiment setting to show that the entry of politically connected firms into previously unconnected sectors slows employment growth and skews the distribution of employment towards less productive smaller firms.
  • Topic: Economics, Economy, Business , Networks, Cronyism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North Africa, Egypt
  • Author: Amr Adly
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Egypt's economy is in crisis as the new military-backed regime seeks to reestablish its authority. Fiscal restructuring and austerity measures are necessary to spur economic recovery, but they may be politically difficult to pass at this time. The new regime, therefore, will have to broaden its base and forge a more inclusive coalition of supporters in order to stabilize Egypt, retain power, and restore economic growth.
  • Topic: Security, Economics
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Egypt
  • Author: Amr Adly
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Egypt's big business community provided strong, early support for the military- backed government that came to power in June 2014. But despite that endorsement, the regime of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has made changes that are putting pressure on the private sector. Still, there are signs that some of those shifts are only temporary and that they have been taken out of necessity as the new political leadership attempts to repair a struggling economy. While elements of state-business relations may be reconfigured, big business remains essential to Egypt's long-term recovery.
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: David Schenker, Eric Trager
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Cairo's possible purchase of advanced weapons systems from Russia could become another irritant in U.S.-Egyptian relations.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Economics, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Ukraine, Middle East, Egypt
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Nicholas S. Yarosh, Chloe Coughlin-Schulte
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The political dynamics and violence that shape the current series of crises in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) – and daily events in Bahrain Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Tunisia, Syria, and Yemen – dominate the current course of virtually every aspect of these states including much of the current course of violence and instability in the region. Political dynamics and the current levels of, however, are only part of the story.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Democratization, Development, Economics, Islam
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Middle East, Libya, Yemen, Arabia, North Africa, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Bahrain, Tunisia
  • Author: Ibrahim Saif
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The Egyptian economy is going through a critical period as the country transitions to democracy. While the shift from authoritarianism is certainly welcome, it has inevitably incited instability unknown to Egypt for the past thirty years. The implementation of economic reform amid this uncertainty is particularly challenging as political demands take precedence. The state attempted several times to revive the Egyptian economy since the Infitah, or “open door,” policy initiated by President Anwar Sadat in the mid-1970s. Successive, though unsuccessful, reform programs during the 1990s contributed to the pervasive poverty that served as a central driver of the 2011 Egyptian revolution and persists today. Past experiences can provide useful lessons for what to avoid in the future, even if they are unable to impart what exactly should be done.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Economics, Regime Change
  • Political Geography: Arabia, North Africa, Egypt
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Even before the popular wave from Tunisia and Egypt reached Yemen, President Saleh's regime faced daunting challenges. In the north, it is battling the Huthi rebellion, in the south, an ever-growing secessionist movement. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is showing mounting signs of activism. Sanaa's political class is locked in a two-year battle over electoral and constitutional reforms; behind the scenes, a fierce competition for post-Saleh spoils is underway. Economic conditions for average Yemenis are dire and worsening. Now this. There is fear the protest movement could push the country to the brink and unleash broad civil strife. But it also could, and should, be a wake-up call, a catalyst for swift, far-reaching reforms leading to genuine power-sharing and accountable, representative institutions. The opposition, reformist ruling party members and civil society activists will have to work boldly together to make it happen. The international community's role is to promote national dialogue, prioritise political and economic development aid and ensure security aid is not used to suppress opposition.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil Society, Democratization, Economics
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Yemen, Arabia, North Africa, Egypt, Tunisia
  • Author: Ahmed Kamaly
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Egypt, starting from the second half of the first decade of the 21st century, has begun to realize its potential as an important recipient of foreign direct investment (FDI) among developing economies. Having received only US$ 500 million of inward FDI (IFDI), amounting to 0.5% of GDP in 2001, Egypt attracted US$ 9.4 billion (approximately 5.7% of GDP), in 2008. While investment in oil and gas accounted for a large share of IFDI (over half in 2006-2009), the remainder is fairly well diversified. Developed economies account for three-quarters of Egypt's IFDI, but the share of emerging markets has risen recently. Largely because of the global financial crisis, inflows dropped in 2009, by 30%. IFDI is likely to be adversely affected in 2011 following the political turbulence associated with the January 25 Revolution. However, this democratic transformation carries the seeds of genuine political stability based on effective institutions and the rule of law, which would encourage long-term domestic and foreign investment.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Markets, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Arabia, North Africa, Egypt
  • Author: William Zartman, Laleh Khalili, Jillian Schwedler, Gamal Eid
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Contemporary Arab Studies
  • Abstract: In January and February 2011, populist uprisings toppled the authoritarian governments of Tunisia and Egypt, and similar revolts began to emerge in other Arab states, including Bahrain, Libya, Morocco, Syria, and Yemen. An article in the 18 March 2011 issue of the Chronicle Review by Ursula Lindsey, "The Suddenly New Study of Egypt," addressed how these events had turned the study of persistent authoritarianism in the Arab world on its head. No longer, for example, could scholars point to how Egyptians and other Arabs tend to engage in one of two extremes: political apathy or political violence. Lindsey also suggested that scholars shift their focus away from the power of elites to the strength of ordinary people and grass-roots movements, or retool their scholarship to allow for, in the case of Egypt, more emphasis on groups other than the Muslim Brotherhood as significant sources of opposition.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Regime Change, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Libya, Yemen, Arabia, North Africa, Syria, Egypt, Bahrain, Tunisia
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: If the democratic transition in Egypt fails and the country adopts a repressive, authoritarian, or theocratic form of government, the consequences could be profound. Failure in Egypt could lead other countries in the region to turn away from the very idea of democratic reform. Of course, democracy in other countries will rise and fall due to local conditions. Nevertheless, if the transition in Egypt succeeds, and the country acquires a democratic, accountable, and efficient form of government, it is likely to become a powerful example and, ultimately, a stabilizing force in a turbulent region.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Development, Economics, Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Egypt