Mottaghi, Lili

Office of the Chief Economist for Middle East and North Africa
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Macroeconomics, Economic growth, Trade policy
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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 - 7 of 7
  • Publication
    MENA Quarterly Economic Brief, July 2014 : Predictions, Perceptions and Economic Reality
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2014-07) Devarajan, Shanta; Mottaghi, Lili
    This 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
    Middle East and North Africa Economic Monitor, April 2015: Towards a New Social Contract
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2015-04) Devarajan, Shantayanan; Mottaghi, Lili
    The economic outlook for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in 2015 is slightly more favorable than in 2013-14, when the region as a whole grew at 3 percent a year. The World Bank group’s latest MENA Economic Monitor projects MENA’s economic growth to average 5.2 percent in 2015 driven by domestic consumption, easing political tensions crowding-in investments in Egypt and Tunisia, and full resumption of oil production in Libya. However the violent conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Gaza, Yemen and Libya with their spillovers to Lebanon and Jordan could make MENA’s economic prospects bleak. The report has a special focus on the corrosive nature of the large energy subsidies in MENA. The MENA region is currently experiencing growth below potential, high unemployment, urban air pollution and congestion, and severe water scarcity that is undermining agriculture. The report shows how energy subsidies have contributed to these development challenges. Reforming these subsidies, therefore, should be one of the highest priorities of policymakers.
  • Publication
    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, Souraya
    This 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
    Trading Together: Reviving Middle East and North Africa Regional Integration in the Post-COVID Era
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2020-10-19) Arezki, Rabah; Moreno-Dodson, Blanca; Yuting Fan, Rachel; Gansey, Romeo; Nguyen, Ha; Cong Nguyen, Minh; Mottaghi, Lili; Tsakas, Constantin; Wood, Christina
    The MENA Economic Update is a product of the World Bank's Office of the Chief Economist for the Middle East and North Africa. This presents the short-term, macroeconomic outlook and economic challenges facing countries in the region.
  • Publication
    Refugee Welfare: A Global Public Good
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-04) Mottaghi, Lili
    This 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
    Evidence to Inform Policy: What Works to Close the Gender Gaps in Middle East and North Africa
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-05) Mottaghi, Lili; Krafft, Caroline; Caria, Stefano; Nagy , Abdelrahman; Fadl, Noha
    The traditional unequal division of household chores and caregiving hinder women from entering the labor market. Women in Egypt spend 9.5 hours more on unpaid household chores for every hour spent by men. Forty percent of women reported spending more time on household chores during the COVID–19 pandemic. Lack of access to affordable childcare is a constraint on the female labor supply in Egypt. Almost 96 percent of women in the pilot study expressed interest in childcare centers, but high costs are a concern. Weak demand for female workers, especially in the STEM fields, limits women’s job opportunities. About 60 percent of employers reported that they prefer to hire men due to women’s household responsibilities. About 87 percent of respondents noted approval with women working. However, the support declined steadily as additional information about the nature of the job or working hours was specified. One-third of women said that their husbands would not allow them to work outside of the house, and none of the men agreed with women working in a mixed-gendered environment, highlighting restrictive gender norms’ impact on female labor supply. These findings underscore the importance of our two randomized interventions designed to provide low-cost childcare services and signal firms to hire women through our employment services.
  • Publication
    Disruptive Technology: New Growth Engine for MENA?
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-05) Mottaghi, Lili
    MENA economies have been experiencing moderate to high growth in GDP with stagnant growth in employment, a phenomenon of "jobless growth" since the 1970s. This dire situation in MENA is a result of the existing social contract, in which the state is the main provider of public sector jobs and social and economic benefits to citizens in exchange for limited public participation and accountability.