GRM 2010 GRM 2011

Abstract Details

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Title of Paper:
Youth Unemployment in the MENA Region: An Appraisal Study of the UAE
Paper Proposal Text :
Historically, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has suffered from negligence from the academic community. For instance, the region’s share of Economic publications between 2005 and 2010 is by far the lowest across all major regions. Recently, the ongoing popular movements in several of MENA countries have captured the attention of the research community in an attempt to understand the causes and eventual consequences of these movements. One particular topic of interest is unemployment. The unemployment rate in the MENA region has been consistently high. The World Bank estimates that the unemployment rate across the MENA countries in 2008 was almost 10%. Further, the region reports the highest youth unemployment rate among large regions in the world (around 22% for 2010). This is particularly disturbing taking into consideration that the populations of the MENA countries are considered the youngest in the world. The mean share of the population under 15 years of age in 2009 in MENA countries was 30%.

While the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries enjoy large natural reserves that materialized through a strong economic growth in the last decade, youth unemployment is still of serious concern for most of these countries. More than 70% of the total unemployment in Qatar is attributed to youth unemployment, the highest in the MENA region. This share is almost 35% for the UAE. This paper uses new data on labor force to shed light on youth unemployment among nationals in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). By examining the labor market for local youth we hope to offer new insights on the human capital stock of youth in the UAE. In light of the recent events and the inflexibly high youth unemployment, the topic of this paper is of crucial importance.