The Political Economy of Reform in Egypt: Understanding the Role of Institutions

Publication Date: October 2007

Publisher: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Author(s): Sufyan Alissa

Research Area: Economics; Politics

Type: Report

Coverage: Egypt


Recent economic growth and stabilization in Egypt has been largely fueled by external factors which may not be sustainable. During the same period, Egypt has failed to address pressing social and economic challenges, according to a new paper from the Carnegie Endowment.

In The Political Economy of Reform in Egypt: Understanding the Role of Institutions, Carnegie Middle East Center's Sufyan Alissa finds that economic reform, considered a priority by the Egyptian government, has not been fully effective for three reasons: it lacks public support, Egypt has failed to foster a competitive business environment, and the lack of dynamic and transparent institutions.

Alissa argues that Egypt lacks the institutional capacity to implement better-coordinated reform programs that address its socioeconomic realities, including widespread poverty and unemployment, high inflation, and a soaring public debt. Reform is needed to improve the efficiency of Egypt's bureaucracy, increase the accountability and transparency of politicians, and widen political participation for Egyptian citizens.