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Housing and Credit

The Challenge

Source: Curt Carnemark, 1994, World BankYouth need credit to start a business, buy a house, or pay for the initial start up cost of forming a family. Their need for credit often goes unmet because individuals at the start of their adult life lack collateral, steady jobs, or reputation capital  to qualify for obtaining credit. Left alone, credit markets in the Middle East fail in their most important mission which is to allow individuals to smooth their consumption by borrowing against future income.

The Opportunity

Of the various need for credit, housing stands out because of the role it plays in the transition to adulthood. The ability for the young to live independently is critical for their sense of fulfillment and participation in adult life. With an increase in investments and a growing GDP, the region is well positioned to explore reforms in housing and credit to ease financial and social pressures faced by young people.

The possible economic effects of Obama's Middle East speech

19 May 2011

In anticipation of President Obama's 19 May speech on the Middle East, Tarik Yousef comments on the importance of economic investment and assistance in the region. This interview was originally published by NPR and is reposted here.

New Egypt Human Development Report Addresses The Role of Youth in Egypt's Future

7 Jul 2010

The 2010 Egypt Human Development Report (EHDR) has been released and focuses specifically on the importance of youth in Egypt's economic, social and political development. The report, "Youth in Egypt: Building our Future", features a chapter by MEYI nonresident senior fellow Ragui Assaad on human development and labor markets, which investigates transitions into employment for Egyptian youth as well as the skills gap between education and employment and the occupational outlook facing young people today.

Experts Convene in Damascus to Review Policy Priorities for Middle East Youth

16 Jun 2010
Experts from the Middle East Youth Initiative network and partners met on June 13 and 14 to identify new priorities in youth research and policy in the Middle East. The meeting was hosted by the Wolfensohn Center for Development at Brookings, the Dubai School of Government, and the Development Research Centre at the Syria Trust for Development.

New Interactive Map: Taking Stock of the Youth Challenge in the Middle East

15 Jun 2010
The Middle East Youth Initiative has released a new online interactive map with key statistics on youth-related issues for all 18 Middle East countries, based on analysis by Samantha Constant and Mary Kraetsch. The map includes key statistics related to each country’s economy, demographics, education and youth employment status.

Dubai Initiative Conference at Harvard Features MEYI Scholars

6 May 2010
Djavad Salehi-Isfahani, Edward Sayre, Christine Binzel and Daniel Egel participated in a youth-focused panel at the 2010 Dubai Initiative Conference at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

First Policy Outlook Demonstrates Link Between Housing Policies and Marriage

26 Nov 2008

In the first Policy Outlook by the Middle East Youth Initiative, Ragui Assaad and Mohamed Ramadan show how housing policy reforms in Egypt have made marriage more affordable for young people. This new research demonstrates how effective policies to grant young people access to key markets, such as housing, are critical in order to ensure successful transitions to adulthood.

Youth Exclusion in the West Bank and Gaza Strip: The Impact of Social, Economic and Political Forces
25 Jan 2010, Edward Sayre and Samia Al-Botmeh

Edward Sayre and Samia Al-Botmeh examine three dimensions of the transition to adulthood by Palestinian youth: acquiring skills through schooling and training, finding employment, and forming a family.

Generation in Waiting: The Unfulfilled Promise of Young People in the Middle East
8 Oct 2009, Edited by Navtej Dhillon and Tarik Yousef

Generation in Waiting: The Unfulfilled Promise of Young People in the Middle East (Brookings Press, 2009), edited by Navtej Dhillon and Tarik Yousef, represents three years of research on youth exclusion in the Middle East.

Did Housing Policy Reforms Curb the Delay in Marriage Among Young Men in Egypt?
26 Nov 2008, Ragui Assaad and Mohamed Ramadan

In this Middle East Youth Initiative Policy Outlook, Ragui Assaad and Mohamed Ramadan demonstrate that housing policy reforms in Egypt have made rental housing more affordable and accessible to young people and have also contributed to a declining age at marriage among young men.

Stalled Youth Transitions in the Middle East: A Framework for Policy Reform
8 Oct 2008, Djavad Salehi-Isfahani and Navtej Dhillon

Djavad Salehi-Isfahani and Navtej Dhillon present a framework for policymakers to improve youth outcomes by addressing institutional distortions across sectors: from the education system to the employment, housing, and credit markets.

Youth Exclusion in Iran: The State of Education, Employment and Family Formation
12 Dec 2007, Djavad Salehi-Isfehani and Daniel Egel
While the youth bulge has exacerbated the challenges facing young people in Iran, it is not the root cause of youth exclusion.