Polarization and its Discontents: Morocco before and after the Arab Spring
15:00 - 16:30
This paper uses data obtained from three Moroccan household surveys that took place between 2000 to 2013, to address issues related to the so-called “Arab puzzle”. Welfare inequalities are low and declining in Arab countries and exist against the backdrop of a growing sense of dissatisfaction and frustration. The paper hypothesizes that welfare inequality plays a role, if seen through the lens of absolute measures and notably absolute polarization. The paper argues that the relatively worse perception of poor, vulnerable, and lower middle-class Moroccan households mirrors the ongoing hollowing out of the welfare distribution process and its concentration in the tails. The results of a multi-logit regression indicate that polarization is significantly correlated to perception and, importantly, that this correlation is asymmetric. The poorer are the households, the more polarization is perceived to link negatively to the well-being of households; and the richer are the households, the more polarization will positively correlate with their perceived well-being. The results are robust to the use of classes or quintiles for ranking social groups from the poorest to the richest.
Fabio Clementi holds a degree in Political Sciences (2002) and a Ph.D. in Economics (2006). He is currently Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Macerata (Italy). His main research interests focus on the size distribution of income and wealth, the business cycle analysis and the empirical validation of agent-based economic models with real-world data. He has published several papers in peer-reviewed international journals and book chapters on topics related to his scientific and research activity, and serves as referee for various international journals. Most recently, he has acted as a consultant for the World Bank on matters related to income distribution and inequality.
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