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Les rendez-vous manqués de l'économie de la Tunisie 7-Novembriste

Mabrouk, Mohamed B.R. (2011): Les rendez-vous manqués de l'économie de la Tunisie 7-Novembriste.

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Two major changes have affected the Tunisian economy during the 7-November period: the change of the economic system on the one hand and the change of the demographic structure on the other. The change of the economic system consists in the adoption of liberalism and free-trade. Although, at the beginning of the studied period, this change has improved the external economic balance and the standard of living, comparison with other countries and also the drift of the external deficit shows that the country has failed to exploit the opportunity offered by free-trade. A more decisive opportunity has also been lost: the "demographic dividend" offered by the relative decline of the economically unproductive, that is to say, children and the elderly. Properly exploited, it should have enabled the country to recover his savings to pay off its external debt and capitalize for the future which should see the share of unproductive population increase again due to aging. Two interrelated reasons have caused this failure. One is overconsumption of imported luxury goods. The other is the declining economic role of the state. Along with comments on the desirable type of economic system, some measures, mostly Keynesian, are suggested to revive the economy. Among those measures: limiting imports of frivolous goods, reforming the foreign exchange system, reforming taxation of households and of foreign trade, a tighter democratic control of state resources and public markets and boosting state investment in productive areas with high social and environmental impact.

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