Post Covid-19 firm-level government support in Egypt: uneven allocation and unequal effects

El-Haddad, Amirah / Chahir Zaki
Externe Publikationen (2022)

in: ERF Working Paper Series No. 1573

Volltext/Full text

The COVID-19 pandemic saw two sets of policy responses: lockdown to limit spread of the virus, which was a huge demand and supply shock, and government support to firms and individuals to offset the effects of this policy-induced shock. This paper explores the allocation and effectiveness of government support to firms in Egypt. We consider both financial support measures which were by and large already being implemented pre-COVID, as well as tax- and loan-related exemptions and deferments. Our main findings show that government support has helped mitigate the effects of COVID-19, with a significantly larger, favorable impact on smaller, younger and private firms. However, although these firms apparently make better use of government support, they receive a disproportionately smaller share of it. In line with the emerging ‘unsocial’ social contract, government support has been chiefly determined by political connections and a captured industrial policy.  This ‘misallocation’ reinforces the missing middle phenomenon which acts as a constraint as SMEs are unable to grow. Finally, to control for the endogeneity of support, we use an instrumental variable approach and a propensity score matching. Our results remain globally robust.

Über die Autorin

El-Haddad, Amirah



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