Jobs or Privileges: A Middle Eastern Tale

Job creation plays a major role in lifting people out of poverty and enhancing shared prosperity worldwide. So what firms drive job creation around the world? Is it small firms, large firms, old ones or young ones? How does the design and implementation of government policies affect competition, market entry, firm growth and innovation, and in turn job creation? We are have recently begun to un... view more


The Quest for the Job Creating Firm

Recent literature finds that young firms and productive firms create the most jobs. This requires a competitive environment with high firm turnover and productivity growth, unlike in MENA where policies limit competition, resulting in weak firm dynamics and slow job creation.


All firms are created unequal

The large variation in policy implementation faced by firms within the same sector leads to a discriminatory policy environment that reduces productivity growth and innovation in MENA.


Industrial Policy Showdown : Middle East vs. East Asia

Government support to firms in East Asia was time bound and linked to export performance, while policies in MENA did not reward firms based on performance, and did not safeguard competition, thus leading to policy capture.


FDI in Jordon : Hero or Villain?

FDI inflow in Jordan encouraged creative destruction and productivity enhancement, and had positive employment spillovers among domestic service providers.


What Will It Take to Create Jobs in the Arab World?

Start-ups create the most jobs in the Arab World. But very few start-up firms enter the markets each year in the region, and most remain micro-firms, preventing economies from creating enough jobs to absorb a growing workforce. A new World Bank report, "Jobs or Privileges: Unleashing the Employment Potential of the Middle East and North Africa", details how policies are stifling competition & what is needed to solve the unemployment problem.

About the Presenters

Sahar Hussain

Sahar S. Hussain is an economist in the Macroeconomics and Fiscal Management Global Practice at the World Bank. She works on issues related to job creation and labor markets, as well as macroeconomic monitoring for countries in the Middle East and North Africa region. Prior to that, she worked for the Egyptian Centre for Economic Studies in Cairo as an economist on issues related to the economics of transitions, competition policy, and energy subsidies. She was also an economic consultant for the Planning Commission of Pakistan. Sahar has a master’s degree in development economics and policy analysis from the University of Nottingham and a bachelor’s degree from the London School of Economics.

Dalia Al Kadi

Dalia Al Kadi is an economist in the Macroeconomics and Fiscal Management Global Practice at the World Bank. She joined the Bank in February 2013 and has been working with governments in the Middle East & North Africa on firm dynamics and job creation, macroeconomic analysis, and the economic impact of conflict and forced displacement. Before joining the Bank, Dalia was a project manager at the Executive Council in Abu Dhabi where she advised the government on economic policy and strategy. She was also a management consultant with McKinsey & Company where she advised clients in the banking, telecom, and public sectors in the Middle East and Pakistan. Dalia has an MPA in International Development from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree in economics from the American University of Beirut.