Leapfrogging into the Knowledge Economy: Assessing the Economic Development Strategies of the Gulf States

Ewers, Michael C., Malecki, Edward


Publication by 2007 DPDF The Political Economy of Redistribution Fellow Michael Ewers.

The oil-abundant, labour-deficient countries of the Persian Gulf are investing their wealth towards creating economic development beyond oil. At a minimum, these strategies are attempts to craft the basis for sustainable economic development in a global economy that is more dependent on human capital and creativity than on natural resource wealth. This paper examines the Gulf development experience in light of theories on the diversification of natural resource-based economies, the transition from pre- to post-industrial development, and the role of services as an economic base. The paper assesses the Gulf’s current development efforts and post-oil, knowledge-based aspirations in terms of the region’s competitiveness, knowledge accumulation, and labour market structure.