The long-standing informality debate in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region has taken on a new urgency as it looks for a pathway to more socially inclusive growth that is less reliant on fossil fuels. This is occurring against a backdrop of subpar labor market outcomes, further growth setbacks, and deteriorating fiscal and current account deficits in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic—and in the wake of high inflation and supply chain disruptions triggered by the Russian Federation–Ukraine war. "Informality and Inclusive Growth in the Middle East and North Africa" aims to better understand the characteristics and incentive structure that have led to the prevalence of informal employment in three MENA countries—the Arab Republic of Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia. The report breaks new ground by adopting a comprehensive perspective to focus on the features of, and interrelationships among, different aspects of these countries’ institutional landscapes to make sense of the complex incentive structure that workers and firms face when deciding between formal and informal options. Specifically, the report groups these issues in three broad realms:(1) entrepreneur-worker relations, (2) taxes and transfers, and (3) market conditions.
At this seminar, Gladys Lopez-Acevedo, Lead Economist and Global Lead, Poverty, World Bank and Marco Ranzani, Senior Economist, Poverty and Equity, Middle East and North Africa, World Bank shared the main findings of the report.
8am-9am, Friday, October 20, 2023 (Japan Standard Time)
*Due to the speaker's scheduling conflicts, this seminar has been rescheduled from September 28 to October 20, 2023.
Gladys Lopez Acevedo
Lead Economist and Global Lead, Poverty and Equity Global Practice, World Bank
Senior Economist, Poverty and Equity, Middle East and North Africa, World Bank