A discussion about economic formalization in the MENA region

Seminar

Speaker(s)

Amr Adly, CDDRL

Date and Time

April 12, 2013 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Availability

RSVP

Open to the public.

RSVP required by 5PM April 11.

Location

Daniel and Nancy Okimoto Conference Room

Abstract:

Does formalization really matter for developing economies? Informality has been considered as a negative economic factor as it has been associated with low productivity, high barriers to growth (dead capital), low government revenues and lack of access to credit and property rights. The remedy has been often sought in the formalization of informal economic activities, firms, workers and transactions. However, is formalization anyway a good option for development and growth in such hostile institutional settings like the ones existent in most developing countries including the Middle East? Will formalization save small entrepreneurs from rampant corruption, high interest rates, dependent judiciary, and weak rule of law? or are there alternative means to render the present informal settings more productive and developmental?

Speaker Bio:

Amr Adly has a Ph.D. from the European University Institute-Florence, Department of political and social sciences (Date of completion: September 2010). His thesis topic was "The political economy of trade and industrialization in the post-liberalization period: Cases of Turkey and Egypt". The thesis was published by Routledge in December 2012 under the title of State Reform and Development in the Middle East: The Cases of Turkey and Egypt.

He has several other academic publications that have appeared in the Journal of Business and Politics, Turkish Studies, and Middle Eastern Studies, in addition to articles in several other periodicals and newspapers in English and Arabic. 

Before joining Stanford, he worked as a senior researcher at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, heading the unit of social and economic rights, and at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a diplomat.

At Stanford, he is leading a research project on reforming the regulatory environment governing entrepreneurship after the Arab Spring in Egypt and Tunisia, which will result in policy papers as well as conferences in the two countries.