The Quest for Subsidy Reforms in the Middle East and North Africa Region

A Microsimulation Approach to Policy Making

  • Paolo Verme
  • Abdlekrim Araar

Part of the Natural Resource Management and Policy book series (NRMP, volume 42)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xliii
  2. Cross-Country Analyses

  3. Country Case Studies

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 61-61
    2. Jose Cuesta, Abdel-Rahmen El Lahga, Gabriel Lara Ibarra
      Pages 91-117
    3. Abdelkrim Araar, Nada Choueiri, Paolo Verme
      Pages 119-156
    4. Sudeshna Ghosh Banerjee, Heba El-laithy, Peter Griffin, Kieran Clarke, Mohab Hallouda
      Pages 157-177
    5. Aziz Atamanov, Jon Jellema, Umar Serajuddin
      Pages 179-206
    6. Stefanie Brodmann, Harold Coulombe
      Pages 229-257
    7. Mohammad H. Mostafavi-Dehzooei, Djavad Salehi-Isfahani
      Pages 259-289
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 291-325

About this book


​This book is an analysis of energy and food subsidies in the MENA region between 2010 and 2014. Using the World Bank’s proprietary SUBSIM model,  the book studies the distribution of subsidies and the simulation of subsidy reforms across eight countries within in a partial equilibrium framework. The distributional analysis of subsidies provides information on who benefits from existing subsidies, while the simulations of subsidy reforms provide information on the outcomes of the reforms in terms of government budget, household welfare, poverty, inequality, and the trade-offs between these outcomes. This focus provides governments with the essential information they need to make decisions on subsidy reforms and consumers with a clear sense of which programs and reforms are successful.

The book highlights the historical roots of subsidies, the real trigger of subsidy reforms, and the complexity of subsidy reforms. It discusses the pros and cons of radical and gradualist approaches to reforms, the use of compensation mechanisms and their implications, the advantages and disadvantages of public information campaigns, the political economy of targeting different economic populations, the political timing of reforms, and whether, overall, the reforms observed in the MENA region have been successful. The first book on subsidies in the MENA region that is based on primary micro data, this book is useful for researchers and graduate students studying political economy and working with microsimulation modelling instruments as well as government officials engaged in subsidies reforms, research institutes and private consulting groups advising governments on subsidy reforms.


Middle East North Africa subsidy reform cross-country comparison World Bank political economy open access

Editors and affiliations

  • Paolo Verme
    • 1
  • Abdlekrim Araar
    • 2
  1. 1.The World BankWashingtonUSA
  2. 2.University of LavalQuebecCanada

Bibliographic information