Inequality in the Middle East

Survey estimates suggest that inequality in the Middle East is not particularly high despite considerable political conflict. This column uses new ‘distributional national accounts’ data to show that the Middle East is in fact the most unequal region in the world, with both enormous inequality between countries and large inequality within countries. The results emphasize the need to develop mechanisms of regional redistribution and to increase transparency on income and wealth data.  

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Is China’s International Joint Venture Policy Effective in Diffusing Technology?

The US administration launched a trade war against China in response to what it sees as unfair trade practices—especially the requirement that foreign firms entering “restricted” sectors partner with a Chinese firm. New research from an international team of economists gauges whether the requirement has the intended effect of diffusing technology transfer in these sectors, and finds the answer is a resounding yes.  

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How the Triple Tax Exemption on Puerto Rico’s Bonds Financed Its Territorial Status—and Helped Spark Its Debt Crisis

How did Puerto Rico manage to incur a monumental debt of $72 billion without raising red flags among the sophisticated investors who continuously bought its bonds? Here associate professor of business Evaluz Cotto–Quijano points to the role of a tax exemption designed by the US Congress over 100 years ago to finance Puerto Rico’s territorial government by inflating its bond debt instead of appropriating federal funds.  

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