This report provides a review of global literature and evidence on the impacts of social security schemes to illustrate the role of inclusive social security in promoting economic growth across the MENA region. Written by Anh Tran, with contributions from Jodie Bispham and Shea McClanahan, it is part of a working paper series called “Shifting the Paradigm”.
While economic growth is not a core policy objective of social security, by providing a higher level of income security across the lifecycle, social security removes financial barriers to accessing public services and enables recipients to smooth their consumption.
This paper demonstrates that the impacts of social security on education, health and labour markets all contribute to the objective of furthering human capital, more dynamic markets, and ultimately, growth at the national level. However, it also cautions that positive results will not be achieved if ambitions for social security reform in the region remain limited. The global economic crisis driven by the COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated an urgent need to re-position inclusive social security at the core of a successful and sustainable economic growth model.