Drawing on elements of a political economy framework, this paper addresses two inter-related questions with regard to economic growth and public expenditure patterns in Morocco. The main factors that help explain Morocco’s relatively slow economic growth for the last few decades have to do with problems of: • representation (policy makers mainly represented their own and family/clan interests rather than the public at large); • coordination (coordination among ministries is constrained by the centralized nature of information and power); and • commitment (to the trade and economic liberalization as well as privatization policies, linked to rent seeking activities by certain interests groups). An overarching trend is the disproportionate influence of political considerations on economic decisions. The paper illustrates this point with numerous examples, including the tax exemption of the agricultural sector. The second part of the paper identifies the main causes of Morocco’s disappointing social development indicators compared to other middle-income countries. These causes are mainly linked to unsatisfactory outcomes in the education sector, and weak pro-poor targeting of government programs, which can in turn be explained by political economy imperatives discussed in the first part of the paper.

ISS Staff Group 2: States, Societies and World Development
International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University (ISS)

Bergh, S. (2005). Explaining slow economic growth and poor social development indicators: The case of Morocco. ISS Staff Group 2: States, Societies and World Development. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/32267