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- This article summarizes the main barriers to entry and growth as experienced by entrepreneurs and business owners in Egypt and Tunisia, and looks at regional differences within each country, differences between formal and informal enterprises, and differences by gender of business owners.
- Top barriers to growth in 2013 were reported to be political instability and public disorder, administrative inefficiency, and restrained access to finance. Even among formal businesses, informal mechanisms often compensate for the absence of effective state institutions and the rule of law.
- Administrative reforms and deeper investments in infrastructure and human capital are needed to build the business-friendly ecosystem needed to generate jobs, grow the economy, and create opportunities for all citizens
A quarter century ago, Mancur Olson published The Rise and Decline of Nations, one of the modern era’s most influential studies on the institutional determinants of economic growth. In it, he linked development patterns in industrial democracies to the entrenchment of organized interests, including those in the business community. Strong business associations, he theorized, actually harm national economies through their efforts to undermine competitive markets.
However, Mancur Olson’s vision of associations as organizations that assist firms primarily through services that redistribute wealth, rather than generate new wealth, does not fare well in the face of the evidence from Russia. Judged on the basis members’ behaviors, the associations that have emerged in Russia do not closely resemble the organizations that Olson described.Read more...
Although the macroeconomic situation throughout Latin America has been continuously improving, the citizens of many countries are turning toward radical leftist leaders. It is apparent that while statistics show growth and increasing prosperity, the average citizen has not reaped any of the benefits. Voters are expressing their frustration with their current socioeconomic status, their lack of options, and their exclusion from the economic system by choosing presidents like Hugo Chávez and Evo Morales.
To address the problems Latin America faces, the institutional environment must be reformed. Without institutional reforms that facilitate wealth creation, entrepreneurship, and enfranchisement, people will remain angry, and their anger will be perfectly justified. If Latin American leaders have the courage to address these issues in a fundamental way, there will not be a future for demagogues and populists.Read more...
Business is under increased pressure to invest and re-invest its resources and profits to meet the social needs and wants of the communities in which it operates. Although these pressures are not new, they have been rising with the spread of globalization and the growing gap between the world’s rich and the world’s poor. The corporate social responsibility debate has taken on a distinct meaning in developing countries, and in many cases the problems arise from the mistaken perceptions of and difficult experiences with market reforms. The result has been reversals from the course of democratic and free market reform as skeptics began to point their fingers at business and blame capitalism for corruption scandals, financial collapses, disastrous privatizations, and similar events.Read more...
The Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) entered the new millennium saddled with a number of intricate challenges. The most thorny of these is how to register high enough economic growth rates in the coming years in order to absorb the nearly 25 million unemployed in the region, as well as generate an additional five million new jobs annually for the new entrants to the labor market. Failing to do so, the region is likely to find itself facing tens of millions of disgruntled workers and the ensuing social and political unrest. In order to avert this unenviable situation, it is imperative that the region encourages investment.Read more...
Corporate governance has taken root in development financing institutions in Asia and the Pacific. Th e Asian financial crisis of 1997 was a turning point for countries in the regions, stressing the need not just for corporate reform in the business community, but also the need for reforms in national development financing institutions (DFIs).Read more...
- Democratic Governance
- Access to Information
- Combating Corruption
- Business Association Development
- Corporate Governance
- Legal & Regulatory Reform
- Informal Sector & Property Rights
- Corporate Citizenship (CSR)
- South Asia
- Middle East & North Africa
- Latin America & the Caribbean
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CIPE welcomes articles submitted by readers. Most articles run between 3-7 pages (1000-3000 words), but all submissions relevant to CIPE's mission of building accountable, democratic institutions through market-oriented reform will be considered based on merit. Economic Reform Feature Service articles are primarily geared toward an international, non-academic community of businesspeople, economic reformers, and policy-makers. Specific policy recommendations and articles based on direct experience are encouraged. In addition to articles, we are willing to adapt suitable lectures, speeches, research notes, and academic papers.
Articles should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org.