The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Human Development in the Middle East and North Africa

  • Djavad Salehi-Isfahani
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-349-95189-5_3027

Abstract

Recent uprisings in the Arab world raise important questions about the human development performance of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in recent decades. In this article I review the record of progress in key aspects of human development. According to the widely used Human Development Index, the average level of human development in MENA is commensurate with the region’s general level of economic development. The assessment is less favourable when we examine how opportunities for human development are distributed across the population. Other aspects of wellbeing that are not included in the standard measures of human development, but which affect its assessment, such as the challenges faced by women and young people, further revise downward our evaluation of the region’s progress in human development. I complement this quantitative review with a discussion of how key structural features of MENA economies – high oil income, late demographic transition and low productivity of education – have shaped human development in the MENA region.

Keywords

Human development Human Development Index Inequality Gender Middle East and North Africa Youth 
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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Djavad Salehi-Isfahani
    • 1
  1. 1.