The Egyptian Labor Market

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In 1991, the Egyptian government initiated a major Economic Reform and Structural Adjustment Program (ERSAP). This included a stabilization component to eliminate fiscal and external imbalances, a reform agenda for the trade and financial sectors and the exchange rate regime, and an ambitious privatization program. Until recently, however, little was known about the impact of this program on employment and earnings in the Egyptian labor market. This collection of articles based on a recent large-scale household survey carried out in 1998 and an earlier comparable survey carried out in 1988 documents the changes that occurred in the Egyptian labor market over this ten-year period. The various authors investigate changes in the supply and demand for labor, including the extent to which the private sector has contributed to employment creation, and the groups that have benefited from employment growth. Trends in labor earnings and wages, in women's and youth employment, and in child labor and schooling are analyzed and the role of the informal sector in employment creation is explored, as well as the extent to which the labor market itself has become more informal over the period.