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Department of Economics

Economic development of the Middle East

Course Code:
Unit value:
Taught in:
Full Year

This course is the 0.5 unit version of Applied Economics of the Middle East I (15PECC028) and Applied Economics of the Middle East II (15PECC029), available to students studying MA Area Studies programmes. The course will be co-taught with the MSc equivalents.

The course covers various aspects of the economic development of the modern Middle East and North Africa, including: oil and OPEC, industrialisation, agriculture, structural adjustment, the Palestinian economy, labour markets, and capital flows.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • Understand the socio-economic features and structural characteristics of the MENA economies
  • Develop a clear understanding of the economic history of the region since the 19th century in general, and be able to assess the impact of integration into the emergent international economy, in particular.
  • Attempt to classify the MENA economies according to their different structural characteristics (oil and non-oil economies, labour surplus and labour deficit economies, small and large, agrarian economies, etc)
  • Discuss and apply key concepts of economic policy analysis to contemporary problems and opportunities in areas relating to the key natural resource (oil) and human resources (population and migration) within the MENA countries
  • Explore the implications of the theory of exhaustible resources for the oil sector and to analyse the role and significance of OPEC in oil price determination at an international level
  • Understand the problems of industrialization in resource based economies
  • Understanding of the process of population transition in the MENA region and its implications for economic growth.
  • Understand the reasons why a process of economic liberalisation was needed in the MENA region. Conceptualise the characteristics of an economic liberalisation programme and its sectoral implications
  • Be familiar with the key debates surrounding the process of liberalisation and be able to articulate arguments both for and against different dimensions of economic liberalisation in the context of MENA.
  • Understand the social welfare and political implications of economic reform at both a regional and country-specific level. 
  • Present country case study examples of the economic, social and political experience of liberalisation.