Office of the Chief Economist for Middle East and North Africa
Author Name Variants
Fields of Specialization
Macroeconomics, Economic growth, Trade policy
Office of the Chief Economist for Middle East and North Africa
Externally Hosted Work
Last updated January 31, 2023
Lili Mottaghi is a Senior Economist in the office of the Chief Economist for the Middle East and North Africa Region of the World Bank. She leads the work on regional macroeconomic outlook and has developed two semi-annual flagship publications MENA Economic Monitor and MENA Quarterly Economic Brief which presents the World Bank Group’s views on regional economic developments and prospects, growth forecast, and policy challenges. She also leads the impact evaluation research in the newly established MNA Gender Research Hub at the World Bank. Ms. Mottaghi is the author and co-author of numerous publications including articles published in international journals and World Bank reports. Her research covers a wide range of topics in macroeconomics and development including inclusive growth, technology, and the digital economy, commodity market forecast, inequality, forced displacement, and conflict. Before joining the Bank, she worked at the Management and Planning Organization in Iran where she held senior positions in the areas of economic growth, development, and macroeconomic modeling. Ms. Mottaghi received her Master and Ph.D. degrees in Economics from Claremont Graduate University and University of Tehran.
Publication Search Results
Now showing 1 - 10 of 34
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2009-09-30) Adams, Richard ; van den Bosch, Marie Alienor ; Keller, Jennifer ; Mottaghi, LiliRemittances constitute financial flows that affect the receiving country's economy and its development through diverse channels, including income, consumption, investment, government policies, potential parental absence, and removal of potential entrepreneurial individuals from the community. In view of the economic significance of remittance flows to North African economies, this paper utilizes an econometric model aimed at empirically evaluating the growth impact of remittances on four receiving economies during the period from 1980 to 2007. The model focuses on assessing the role of financial development in determining the growth impact of remittance flows to the region. The paper is organized in four main sections. Section two looks at the scope of migration movements in the four North African countries and the importance of remittance flows to the region. It shows the historical, current and future importance of remittance flows to North African economies. The third section elaborates upon what is known about the economic impacts of remittances at large. It details the major potential macroeconomic impacts of remittances through a literature review on growth and remittances. It also looks at the various channels through which remittances can impact growth. Section four presents an econometric model evaluating the growth impact of remittances with and without the financial sector variable and the results. The fifth section summarizes the main results and concludes.
Publication(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2014-07) Devarajan, Shanta ; Mottaghi, LiliThis issue of the MENA quarterly brief assesses the macroeconomic performance of seven of the MENA countries: Egypt, Tunisia, Iran, Lebanon, Jordan, Yemen and Libya. All of these countries experienced rapid economic growth during 2000-10, and suffered a sharp economic slowdown in the aftermath of 2011. The brief focuses on the challenges facing these countries with a closer look at the actual growth performance in comparison with their forecasts and highlights the limitations of forecasting in the wake of the 2011 uprisings; and at the consequences of the growth slowdown, including unemployment, where perceptions may diverge from reality. The story is told in fourteen charts.
Middle East and North Africa Regional Economic Update, April 2014 : Harnessing the Global Recovery - A Tough Road Ahead(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2014-04) Devarajan, Shantayanan ; Mottaghi, LiliCompared with the previous three years, 2014 seems hopeful and 2015 could be a turning point for the countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Many countries in MENA will start to benefit from stronger external demand in the high-income economies, as the global economy is set for a rebound in 2014. In the MENA region, higher global demand is expected to boost exports of energy and manufactured products in those countries that have trade linkages with high- income countries. Growth in MENA is expected to reach 3.3 percent in 2014 and further accelerate to 4.6 percent in 2015. Nevertheless, the prospects for growth in MENA could be threatened if long awaited structural problems remain unresolved.
Middle East and North Africa Quarterly Economic Brief, January 2014 : Growth Slowdown Heightens the Need for Reforms(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2014-01) Devarajan, Shantayanan ; Mottaghi, LiliOngoing regional tensions, together with a challenging (albeit slightly improving) external environment, have hit the economies of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region hard. Economic growth is slowing, fiscal buffers are depleting, unemployment is rising, and inflation is mounting in seven of the region’s most vulnerable economies-- Egypt, Tunisia, Iran, Lebanon, Jordan, Yemen and Libya. Short-term policy actions such as increasing public sector wages and subsidies—aimed at reducing social tensions--exacerbate the situation, which is driven by long-standing structural weaknesses, including labor market rigidities, complicated and opaque regulations, infrastructure deficiencies, regressive and inefficient subsidies, and inadequate social safety nets. While these countries face an unstable political and macroeconomic environment, the growth slowdown after the Arab Spring creates a unique opportunity to address these structural problems to both create fiscal space and restructure the economy towards job creation and inclusive growth.
Middle East and North Africa Quarterly Economic Brief, July 2013 : Growth Slowdown Extends into 2013(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2013-07) Devarajan, Shantayanan ; Mottaghi, LiliWhile the focus has been on the recent change in government in Egypt, five countries in the Middle East and North Africa Region, including Egypt, Tunisia, Lebanon, Jordan and Iran are facing a growth slowdown, rising fiscal deficits and debt, and high unemployment and inflation. Continued political turmoil in Egypt and spillovers from the civil war in Syria to Jordan and Lebanon threaten to make their economic situation worse. While easing political tensions in Tunisia and post-election improvements in Iran’s international relations may help these countries, the overall macroeconomic outlook in all five countries for the rest of 2013 is grim.
Publication(Washington, DC: World Bank Group, 2014-09) Devarajan, Shanta ; Mottaghi, LiliThe Middle East and North Africa (MENA) data book serves as a quick reference and a reliable dataset for monitoring economic and social developments in the region. The data are drawn from the 2014 World Bank's World Development Indicators (WDI) and International Monetary Fund's (IMF's) direction of trade statistics. It contains macroeconomic, sectoral, and social indicators for 19 countries in the MENA region and aggregates for other developing regions. The data book presents following topics: basic indicators; national and fiscal accounts; trade; infrastructure; and human development.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012-09) Mottaghi, LiliThe data in this book are for 2009 -2011 or the most recent years available, unless otherwise noted in the table or the glossary. This data book presents regional tables which is based on the World Bank's analytical regions and may differ from common geographic usage.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012-04) Mottaghi, LiliThe data in this book are based on World Bank's World Development Indicators (WDI) 2011. The data are for 2009 and 2010 or the most recent year unless otherwise noted. Glossary contains definitions of the terms used in the tables.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012-12) Freund, Caroline ; Ianchovichina, Elena ; Wood, Christina ; Mottaghi, LiliThis note is based on report entitled Looking Ahead after a Year in Transition that was issued by the Chief Economist s office of the Middle East and North Africa region of the World Bank. Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, and Yemen are given special attention because each of them experienced a revolution and a major political change in 2011 and is undergoing a process of political transition toward democracy. In each of the four focus countries, the transition authorities have been charged with implementing agreed time-bound actions leading to democratic elections for new constitutions, presidents and /or parliamentary bodies. Tunisia s new elections are expected to be held no later than June 30, 2013. Egypt lacks a full constitution and parliament, and the transition framework remains uncertain, having been reshaped multiple times by a series of constitutional declarations, laws, decrees, legal challenges and court rulings. Libya barring major disruptions appears to be on track to adopt its new constitution in 2013. In Yemen the new government led by President Hadi is overseeing a two year transition period that is to end with elections.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2014-04) Mottaghi, LiliCompared with the past three years, 2014 seems hopeful and 2015 can be a turning point for Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries. After a slowdown in 2013, recovery in high income economies is expected to boost global growth to 3.2 percent in 2014, an increase of 0.8 percent from 2013. Global output is to improve further in 2015 with real gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 3.4 percent. In addition to growth expansion in the United States, the United Kingdom, as well modest recovery in the Euro zone countries, global growth will continue to be driven by growth in developing countries, expected to be between 5.3 to 5.5 percent in 2014 and 2015 respectively, led by China and India. Higher global demand is expected to boost MENA energy and manufactured exports in countries that have trade linkages with high-income countries. MENA countries share many structural problems that have prevented economies from moving to a higher, sustainable growth path. Fiscal spending in almost all MENA countries is dominated by a large civil-service wage bill and general subsidies. The global recovery remains fragile and downside risks, including continued low inflation in high-income economies, can weaken demand and delay economic recovery.