Office of the Chief Economist for Middle East and North Africa
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Macroeconomics, Economic growth, Trade policy
Office of the Chief Economist for Middle East and North Africa
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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
Child Care Subsidies, Employment Services and Women's Labor Market Outcomes in Egypt: First Midline Results(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2022-07) Caria, Stefano ; Crepon, Bruno ; ElBehairy, Hala ; Fadlalmawla, Noha ; Krafft, Caroline ; Nagy, Abdelrahman ; Mottaghi, Lili ; Zeitoun, Nahla ; El Assiouty, SourayaThis paper contributes to the existing literature in several important ways. The existing literature on the impact of childcare subsidies is from contexts with relatively higher rates of female labor force participation. This work is thus an important test of whether alleviating care responsibilities and reducing the opportunity cost of women working through childcare subsidies can increase women’s participation in contexts and populations with lower participation. Likewise, although there is a sizable body of literature on employment services interventions, there is less evidence on whether they can help married women with young children. Lastly, recognizing that women in Egypt face a multitude of employment constraints, our experiment tests whether a combination of employment services and childcare subsidies has important complementarities, by alleviating multiple constraints at the same time. This paper examines the impact of the interventions on job search outcomes for women 3-4 months after the baseline survey and assignment to treatment for approximately half the planned sample. The first midline survey examines specifically job search behaviors: reservation wages, reservation job quality, and job search effort. The authors also discuss take-up of the two interventions and contextualize take-up and outcomes with information on norms about women’s work and childcare.
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(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-04) Mottaghi, LiliIn the global environment with the risk of prolonged low growth, the short-term economic outlook for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region remains “cautiously "pessimistic”, according to the World Bank’s latest MENA Economic Monitor. Growth in theregion is expected to average about 3 percent i
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.
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.
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( 2015-04) Mottaghi, LiliThe global economy will grow 3 to 3.5 percent this year, 0.5 percent higher than last year s 2.6 percent, and surpassing the average growth rate of 3.1 percent during 2000-08, before the financial crisis. The magnitude of the gains will depend on, among other factors, the share of oil imports in gross domestic product (GDP). Oil exporters (including Russia) can see a sharp fall in growth deteriorating fiscal balances with significant regional consequences. Low oil prices have significantly affected the economies of the oil exporters - accounting for 2-3 of the countries in the region. Economic growth in Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is expected to continue on the same path in 2016. If the security situation in Libya improves and oil exports increase, the regional average can surge to 4 percent to 5 percent in 2016.
Publication(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2015-01) Devarajan, Shanta ; Mottaghi, LiliThis issue of the MENA Quarterly Economic Brief focuses on the implications of low oil prices for eight developing countries, or the MENA-8 (oil importers: Egypt, Tunisia, Lebanon and Jordan and oil exporters: Iran, Iraq, Yemen and Libya) and the economies of the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council), who play a major role in providing funds in the form of aid, investment, tourism revenues and remittances to the rest of the countries of the region. We make the following assumptions about the future price of oil: (i) The price will average $65 Brent p/b in 2015; (ii) a higher price $78 Brent p/b will be used for comparison analysis. As with other economic variables, there is uncertainty associated with the future price of oil, which adds to the error involved in projections. The data for 2015 2017 in the figures and tables are projections. These projections are based on statistical information available through early January 2015.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-04) Mottaghi, LiliThis brief discusses about the refugees welfare in Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Refugee flows can significantly alter the social and economic fabric of host communities, with the impact depending on initial conditions in labor markets, access to resources, demographics, labor laws, and the policy responses of host governments. Most refugees are concentrated in relatively fragile countries, many relatively small and economically vulnerable, including Kenya, Lebanon, and Jordan. To recognize the global public good that Lebanon and Jordan provided by opening their borders to Syrian refugees, in April 2016, the World Bank, the United Nations, and Islamic Development Bank, in close collaboration with the donor community and a range of international partners, launched the Concessional Financing Facility (CFF). The CFF focused on helping Jordan and Lebanon address the impact of Syrian refugees without having to increase their debt levels. As of April 2018, the renamed Global Concessional Financing Facility (GCFF) has leveraged concessional financing to Lebanon and Jordan for ten projects.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2010-04-01) Ianchovichina, Elena ; Mottaghi, Lili ; Carey, Kevin ; Spivak, Nadia ; Farazi, Subika ; Silwal, AniThis edition of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regional economic update concerns the region recovering from the financial crisis along with the global economy. Growth in 2010 is expected to be 4.4 percent region-wide, driven by domestic absorption as well as a positive contribution from external demand. The recovery from the crisis differs by country depending on initial conditions and the intensity of the impact via the three principal channels through which the global financial crisis affected MENA economies-the financial sector, the price of oil, and the balance of payments, reflecting the impact on trade, remittances and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flows. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are leading the regional recovery as oil prices have rebounded and the GCC financial sector is stabilizing. Developing oil exporters felt the impact of the crisis, and now the recovery, largely through the oil price channel, due to the limited integration of their banking sectors into global financial markets and the importance of oil in their exports. The oil importers were affected by the crisis through the secondary effects on trade, remittances, and FDI flows, so their recovery will depend crucially on the recovery in key markets, especially the EU and the GCC countries. High unemployment has been a problem in MENA for years, and the crisis has dimmed prospects for improvements in the near term. Ample oil and gas resources, a youthful and growing workforce, and a growing momentum to look for ways to diversify their economies imply that the growth potential of the region is high, but MENA countries continue to face formidable longer term challenges. Ensuring access to finance without compromising financial stability will be a major challenge in MENA, although issues related to weak regulatory systems, corporate governance and overdependence on the banking system also loom large. Key problems of the business environment in MENA include policy and regulatory uncertainty and discretion in implementing reforms which prevent a level playing field for all firms and encourage the pursuit of privileged access. These problems, coupled with barriers to entry and exit, have created an environment of stagnation. Addressing these issues will require applying rules and regulations consistently and without discrimination among firms and introducing reforms that promote business dynamism, private investment, and innovation.