Title

Demographic Change and Economic Growth: The Role of Natural Resources in the MENA Region

Document Type

Article

Source of Publication

Research in Economics

Publication Date

3-1-2022

Abstract

This paper analyses the conditional effect of demographic change on economic development in the MENA region. We employ fixed-effects panel analysis on data from 19 countries in the region and demonstrate a negative impact of natural rents on the relationship between the working-age population and economic growth. Once the critical level of approximately 16% of resource rents (as share in total GDP) is reached, a one-unit increase in working-age population appears to harm economic growth. Further tests show that this finding is mainly driven by the negative effects of resource rents on female labor force participation. However, other drivers are a large public sector, low private sector development and inefficient labor market policies and issues such as the “Dutch disease”. The main finding remains after robustness checks in the form of controlling for competing hypotheses. Policy makers are advised to encourage economic diversification, female employment and private sector development.

ISSN

Publisher

Elsevier

Disciplines

Business

Keywords

Resource rents, Demographic change, Middle East, North Africa, Female labor force participation

Indexed in Scopus

yes

Open Access

no

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