A Post-Keynesian Approach
New Directions in Modern Economics series
Edited by Claude Gnos, Louis-Philippe Rochon and Domenica Tropeano
Chapter 2: Breaking the Economic Dependence of Developing Countries to Promote Economic Development and Full Employment: The Case of the Maghreb Countries
Mehdi Ben Guirat and Corinne Pastoret Since the collapse of colonial rule, the newly independent countries of the Maghreb (Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia)1 have remained heavily dependent on their economic relations with Europe. Despite positive growth rates, the Maghreb experiences high levels of unemployment and remains heavily dependent on imports of machinery and technology from European countries. While breaking this subsequent economic dependence requires multiple policies such as monetary and financial reforms (Ben Guirat and Pastoret 2009; Rossi 2009), this chapter argues that regional integration is fundamental to promote diversified economic development and full employment (Prebisch 1959). Dependency in the Maghreb took many forms in the last centuries; the first section briefly depicts the evolving historical, social, political and economic factors that contributed to the current situation. It also highlights some attempts to resist some economic aspects of what is referred to as Western imperialism and its free-market ideology by promoting state interventionism through public employment policy and redistributive policy (Adams and Page 2003). The ensuing sections propose to deepen the regionalization of the Maghreb countries, in particular through further development of the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU). The achievements and limitations of the AMU, which was created in 1989, are first analyzed. Then further arguments are presented for a deeper regional integration that provides a framework in which macroeconomic policies promoting diversified economic growth and full employment can be implemented, while reducing political and economic dependency on European countries. 28 GNOS 9781848440685 PRINT.indd 28 27/04/2012 11:03 Breaking the economic...
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