Economic Reform, Firm Survival and Competitiveness (Middle East and North Africa)

During the 1980s, it was thought that liberalizing trade and exposing industries to competition would result in the loss of some firms but a more productive and competitive industrial sector as a whole. In Egypt, Jordon, Morocco and Tunisia, liberalization did result in high rates of firm turnover. But, it did not achieve the desired result in terms of competitiveness. Firm- and industry-wide productivity rates have risen very little, and growth rates have been negative in some cases.

Using data generated from an earlier study of competition policy in the same four countries (101726), researchers will examine firms that have entered and exited the manufacturing sector during the post-reform (liberalization) period, and compare and contrast them with the firms that have survived. They will test the hypothesis that the dynamics of entry and exit depend on the regulatory context, and that institutional factors - specifically, inadequate competition policy - contribute to the poor outcome of liberalization policy in terms of productivity.

The research findings are expected to yield recommendations for the type of complementary measures needed to stimulate higher firm-level productivity in the Middle East and North Africa.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Monday, May 8, 2006

End Date

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


24 months

IDRC Officer

Joekes, Susan

Total funding

CA$ 343,240


Middle East, North of Sahara, South of Sahara, Central Asia, Far East Asia, South Asia, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt


Employment and Growth

Project Leader

Dr. Sekkat Khaled


University of Jordan

Institution Country


Institution Website