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Research Projects
Institutional Requirements of Successful Export Promotion in MENA Countries

Principal Investigator(s)/ Project Director: Hadi Salehi-Esfahani, Mongi Boughzala, Mouna Cherkaoui, Ali Arifa and Sami Atallah

Within the theoretical framework of institutional economics, this research attempts to analyze the impact of budget procedures and institutions on the size, allocation and use of fiscal resources in MENA countries. The objective is to identify key institutional arrangements that create incentives for achieving better expenditure outcomes, focusing on the cases of Lebanon, Morocco, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia. This is particularly important since MENA countries need to enhance their fiscal performance as part of the reforms they are undertaking to restructure and revive their economies. The proposed research is expected to contribute to the literature on budget institutions by extending the methodology for quantifying institutional characteristics and by generating new data with which alternative theories can be tested. For empirical work, three sets of variables will be measured for each country during each institutional regime it has experienced over the past few decades. These variables include (i) indicators of budget design and performance such as government spending and deficit relative to GDP as well as the structure of spending on various programs and their unit costs. Data for these variables are available from IMF Government Financial Statistics; (ii) indicators of country characteristics such as heterogeneity of population and macroeconomic stability; (iii) measures of budget institutions and their effectiveness over time. Data for these last indicators are available from a variety of sources. To build measures of budget institutions, a ranking system based on the experience of other countries will be used and the data will be collected by means of a questionnaire that documents factual information about the characteristics of the relevant institutions.
Project: GDN Research Competition
Round: First Round
Donor(s): GDN
Topic: Macroeconomic Policies and Governance

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