flowers growing near mosque Poritsky via Flickr

La crescita economica dopo la Primavera araba

CAMBRIDGE – Sono passati cinque anni dalle rivolte della Primavera araba, e Giordania, Egitto, Marocco e Tunisia mostrano ragionevoli livelli di stabilità politica. Eppure la crescita economica resta tiepida. Secondo le stime del Fondo monetario internazionale il ritmo di espansione quest’anno potrebbe non superare l’1,5% pro capite. Considerato il vasto potenziale di recupero e la giovane forza lavoro della regione, c’è da chiedersi perché.

Una spiegazione ovvia è che, malgrado i notevoli progressi fatti per creare governi stabili, questi Paesi restano soggetti ai rischi politici che spaventano gli investitori. Ma gli investimenti privati erano modesti già prima delle insurrezioni del 2011, quando questi rischi erano già elevati. Deve esserci dell’altro.

Bisogna dare uno sguardo alla recente storia economica di questi Paesi per capire meglio il problema. Le economie di mercato sono piuttosto recenti nel Medio Oriente e in Nord Africa, essendo nate solo dopo gli anni ‘80, quando il modello di crescita economica diretta dallo Stato è collassato sotto il peso delle sue inefficienze (e del risultante debito). Diversamente dall’America Latina o dall’Est Europa, però, i Paesi arabi hanno liberalizzato le proprie economie senza liberalizzare la politica. Gli autocrati, con l’appoggio delle potenze occidentali, sono fermamente rimasti al loro posto.

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