The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Business Politics in the Gulf

  • Steffen Hertog
Reference work entry


This article discusses the political economy of state–business relations in the oil monarchies of the Arabian Peninsula. It explains the unusual position of the Gulf business class: GCC merchants are capital-rich and well established, yet they have become structurally isolated in the oil age, as their levels of state dependence are high and they have lost organic linkages to local citizens, since they pay almost no taxes and employ mostly foreigners. Historical and comparative dimensions of this setup are highlighted.


Arabian Peninsula Fiscal sociology Gulf business Political economy of the Middle East Rentier state State–business relations 

JEL Classifications

D72 D78 N45 N55 N85 P48 Q32 Z13 
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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steffen Hertog
    • 1
  1. 1.