Finance & Development, March 2013
Two years ago, citizens in the Arab world-fired by their ideals and visions of a better life-ignited a social movement that inspired people around the globe. In Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, and Yemen-the so-called Arab countries in transition-people embraced change, ushering in a new era. This issue of F&D looks at the difficulties of this transition, focusing on long-standing forces that shape the region's economy and offering options for moving ahead to achieve strong, inclusive growth. Masood Ahmed, Director of the IMF's Middle East and Central Asia Department, maps out an agenda for modernizing and diversifying the region's economies in ",Toward Prosperity for All.", In ",Freedom and Bread Go Together,", Marwan Muasher addresses the intersection of economic progress and political change. Vali Nasr, in a Point of View column, underscores the vital role small and medium-sized enterprises play in a successful democratic transition. Elsewhere in this issue, we look at how surging oil and gas production in the United States could shake up global energy markets, the effect of uncertainty on economic growth, and Mexico's competitiveness rebound. F&D's People in Economics series profiles Christina Romer, former chair of the U.S. Council of Economic Advisers and an architect of the U.S. stimulus package, and the latest installment in our Back to Basics series explains how structural policies help to both stabilize and strengthen economies.
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