Mr. Benedicte Baduel, Carolin Geginat, and Ms. Gaelle Pierre
This paper examines the extent to which firms in selected MENA countries reported being constrained by the business environment around the time of the Arab Spring and the extent to which these constraints affected their employment performance. The results suggest that small firms in MENA faced more structural constraints than similar firms in other regions. We also find that MENA firms’ weaker job creation can be explained in great part by the macroeconomic environment and structural constraints. Low GDP growth, falling external competitiveness, corruption, lack of access to finance and poor access to electricity are found to explain a significant part of the lack of employment growth in MENA firms compared to their peers.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This Selected Issues paper investigates the macroeconomic impact of the Syria crisis on Jordan. It is indicated that the crisis: (1) had an overall negative impact on measured output growth—although anecdotal evidence suggests possibly a positive impact on output in the informal sector; (2) contributed to inflationary pressures, particularly on rents; and (3) strained labor markets, mostly in the informal sector as refugees compete with locals for jobs. Although the crisis has put a strain on the external trade balance, the overall impact on the current account is not clear.