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CAIRO BOOKS's Description
This is the first comprehensive assessment of pension systems in the Middle
East and North Africa. While other regions—Central Asia, Eastern Europe, and
Latin America, in particular—have been actively introducing reforms to their
pension systems, Middle East and North African countries have lagged behind.
This is explained, in part, by the common belief that, because demographics
remain favorable—the countries are young and the labor force is expanding
rapidly—financial problems are far in the future; as a result, pension reform
does not have to be a priority in the broader policy agenda. However, the
authors show that aging is not the only factor behind a financial crisis; the
problem is the generosity of the current schemes. Moreover, badly designed
benefit formulas and eligibility conditions introduce unnecessary economic
distortions and make the systems vulnerable to adverse distributional
transfers. The book does not present a general model that could solve the
problems of all pension systems in Middle East and North Africa countries.
Instead the authors focus on outlining a framework for guiding discussions on
pension reform and making objective policy choices. This assessment will be
useful for policy makers and government officials involved in pension reform in
the Middle East and North Africa region.