GRM 2010 GRM 2011

Abstract Details

Family Name:
First Name:
Dr. Zafiris
Title of Paper:
Is it the Gulf (and Oil), the Youth (and Schools) or the Employment (and Migrants)?
Paper Proposal Text :
The paper reviews key economic and labor markets characteristics and trends in the GCC economies. Though they somewhat very between the GCC economies, the paper identifies three distinguishing features in the GCC. First, the relative absence of fiscal constraints (and discipline). Second, rather unique migration policies that allow wages to be largely set at levels prevailing in the country of origin of migrants. .Third, a systematic underperformance of nationals in schools. Under these conditions, even basic textbook analysis of whatever mainstream or iconoclastic theory would predict that ongoing and planned efforts in the areas of skills development and many other active labor market policies and programs are likely to have only a marginal effect on addressing the employment problems among nationals in the GCC. Even if theory is ignored, history is telling: The issue of youth (un)employment in the GCC today is not that different from that in the early 1980s despite the fact that the education supply has improved (in quantity and quality) and many “localization” policies have been applied (attempting to improve the skills of nationals or substitute migrants by nationals). The paper concludes with an attempt to identify what key policy areas the Governments could address.