Human capital, social protection, inequality and migration (Work Package 7)

Social protection schemes in the region suffer from major weaknesses, including the demographic shifts and rampant unemployment, especially among the youth. These challenges seriously hamper the sustainability of these schemes, where they exist. Moreover, the countries of the Middle East and North Africa continue to lag behind their peers in terms of educational attainment of adult population. Integration of women into the labor force is critically low in most countries in the region, despite significant public investment in education and their correlative increase in enrolment and literacy rates. Research undertaken by the World Bank shows household incomes could rise as much as 25% in the region if women participated in the labor force accordingly to their education levels and age structure. Gender equality, education, and integration are the heart of challenges faced by policymakers in the region. This work package will address five main issues:

  • the adequacy and sustainability of social protection schemes; the current state and performance of the educational system;
  • the current and future educational attainment of adult population;
  • the effects on growth and employment of enhancing the use of human capital of women; and,
  • the prospective analysis of the likely future path of human capital endowment in the MED 11 countries.

The major outcome of this exercise will be to give an unprecedented insight into the performance of education in the MED-11 region through an in depth analysis of both the current and future state of education and human capital endowment.

This work package is led by Prof. Alia El Mahdi from the Faculty of Economics and Political Sciences of the Cairo University (FEPS) who has a strong track record in research on employment policies in the South Mediterranean region.


Human Capital, Inequality and Migration in Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Countries: Towards a coherent policy agenda
Date of publication: Wednesday, 27 March, 2013
The demographic and societal structures in southern and eastern Mediterranean countries are expected to undergo profound transformations in the future, calling for new public policies related to employment, human capital and mobility. In addition,...
Education and Social Protection Systems in Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Countries
Date of publication: Wednesday, 30 January, 2013
This report assesses the current status of the education and social protection systems in 11 southern and eastern Mediterranean countries. It compares these countries using various education indicators and attempts to highlight the main differences...
Female Labour Force Participation and Economic Development in Southern Mediterranean Countries: What scenarios for 2030?
Date of publication: Monday, 10 December, 2012
This paper investigates the relationship between female labour force participation rates and economic growth in southern Mediterranean countries. A two-step methodology involving econometric estimations and the use of a general equilibrium model was...
Inequality in the Southern Mediterranean: A survey of selected countries
Date of publication: Thursday, 6 December, 2012
This paper addresses the issues of current levels of inequality: their trends, determinants and future scenarios, demonstrating that welfare levels are measured by per capita consumption. Location, educational attainment and employment status have...
Measuring Returns to Education and Human Capital in the Southern Mediterranean
Date of publication: Friday, 5 October, 2012
Measuring human capital has been a significant challenge for economists because the main variable of interest is intangible and not directly observable. In the Middle Eastern and Northern African region the task is further complicated by the general...