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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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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.

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

Beirut1900
Economics and DevelopmentLebanon

Development in a Polarized Society

This article seeks to examine development in Lebanon through a political economy lens. First, it argues that the Lebanese system could be depicted as a confessional-rentier system. It also argues that the historic choices of the urban elites towards the peripheries are not simply a matter of governance; they are intimately linked to the confessional-rentier