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Egypt’s Growth Performance Under Economic Liberalism: A Reassessment With New GDP Estimates, 1886–1945

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The stagnation of Egyptian living standards in the first half of the 20th century has been widely presumed in economic history. However, this conventional wisdom is partially based on a fragmented body of evidence on aggregate output. In particular, no estimates of national income exist for any extended period prior to World War II. Using a money–based cointegration approach and a new measure of broad money, we exploit Egypt’s intimate economic links with the U.K. to provide the first continuous estimates of GDP for the period 1886–1945. Our estimates are consistent with trends in agriculture and other stylized facts about the Egyptian economy in the late 19th and early 20th century. The empirical results provide qualified support to the conventional wisdom about Egypt’s growth performance in addition to offering a detailed characterization of output cycles.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.

Publication date: December 1, 2002

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