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Economics and DevelopmentLebanonPublic Policy

Macroeconomic implications of windfall oil and gas revenues in Lebanon

The potential for a major discovery of offshore hydrocarbon resources in Lebanon raises concerns about its macroeconomic implications, specifically the Dutch disease phenomenon. This paper first explores whether the Lebanese economy has already been experiencing a Dutch disease episode since the early 1990s due to massive sustained capital inflows fueled by regional petro-dollar income. Using

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LebanonPublic PolicySocial Justice

Mapping the Control of Lebanese Politicians over the Banking Sector

Seminar held on Sep. 15, 2015: Presented the results of ongoing research which explores the relationship between Lebanese banks and the ruling class in the country. The project is part of a wider regional initiative entitled “The Political Economy Determinants of Private Sector Dynamism in the Middle East”, coordinated by the Economic Research Forum. The

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Economics and DevelopmentLebanonPublic Policy

Open Letter to the President of Beirut’s Municipal Council

Beirut, 27 August 2015 Open Letter to Mr. Bilal Hamad, President of the Municipal Council of Beirut Dear Mr. Hamad, I am writing to you as a Lebanese citizen and taxpayer, and a permanent resident of Beirut. I did not vote to elect you for the Municipal Council, because of our country’s twisted and sectarian

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Middle EastPublic PolicyYouth

Youth Integration and Job Creation in the Middle East

The Middle East and North African region is currently faced with one of the toughest socioeconomic challenges in its modern history: a ‘‘youth bulge’’ of almost 100 million young people, of which a quarter are unemployed. Between 40 and 50 million new jobs need to be created in the region’s countries over the next decade,

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Economics and DevelopmentLebanonSocial Justice

Rewrite Lebanon’s unfair tax laws

Lebanon’s current tax rules are both deeply unjust and ultimately counterproductive. They are unfair primarily because they rely so heavily on indirect taxation — mostly Valued Added Tax and taxes on consumption. On average, when you buy goods in Lebanon, 18 percent of the cost is tax. These indirect taxes make up 70 percent of

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LebanonPublic PolicyYouth

Economics of Civil Marriage

A study in 2013 on the potential costs and benefits to the Lebanese state if civil marriage was legalized. The results show that if civil marriage becomes a reality, the vast majority of citizens will be better off – not just socially, but also financially. Detailed results published here. Media coverage on the estimates available here.

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HealthPublic PolicyYouth

Economics of Physical Inactivity

Research shows that physical inactivity has become a major global concern, with significant economic costs. Here are some facts: The top 10 killers in the 50 highest-income countries are all connected to a lack of physical inactivity. More deaths are now attributed to physical inactivity than smoking (5.3 million vs. 5 million respectively). The global

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Economics and DevelopmentYouth

Investing in Girls: The Girl Effect

Economics show the need to increase worldwide investments in young girls. The economic evidence stemming from this research has helped form the core arguments of the Girl Effect (www.girleffect.org) global campaign. Click here for more details. Download here my paper with Wendy Cunningham.

LebanonPublic PolicySocial Justice

Public planning in Lebanon

“Why Can’t Lebanon Plan its Cities?” is a short documentary produced by the Lebanese Economic Association in 2013, focusing on problems of urban planning and public space in Lebanese cities, specifically Beirut.

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Economics and DevelopmentLebanon

Our small dependent economy

Lebanon is a small dependent economy, built on a quasi-complete consumerist system where we import more than 80 percent of our energy, food and most consumed products and services. The country also relies on financial inflows to finance its public debt and domestic consumption, with foreign inflows per year into the Lebanese economy reaching more