The New Normal in the Global Economy: Challenges and Prospects for MENA - Economic Research Forum (ERF)

The Economic Research Forum’s (ERF) 24th Annual Conference will be held in March 2-4, 2018. The 24th Annual Conference provides a unique opportunity for regional researchers to interact with international peers and with each another. It also provides a venue for the presentation of multiple research papers, both in the plenary and parallel sessions, with stimulating discussions and feedback. In addition, the conference features special events, the presentation of selected research projects and celebrates excellence in research.


The theme of the plenary sessions this year is “The New Normal in the Global Economy: Challenges and Prospects for MENA”. Though it has time and time again defied expectations, most of the scholarship community seem to believe that the relatively low oil prices are here to stay for the long haul. A major part of the reasons behind the long-term oil price slow-down is attributed to supply factors such as the rapid expansion in unconventional oil sources like shale gas but also a weakening global demand resulting from the anticipated shift of the Chinese economic growth agenda toward inward non-tradable domestic economic activities; and the possible advent of an episode of secular stagnation of major industrial economies, coupled with an appreciation of the U.S. dollar. These interconnected developments constitute the emerging “new normal” in the global economy, which are expected to have wide-ranging consequences on the whole region’s growth and development prospects. MENA oil exporters and importers alike have started to experience the impact of this emerging oil market situation, but their initial policy responses leave a lot to be desired. Nothing short of a drastic rethinking of the social contracts prevailing in both MENA oil exporters and importers would be adequate. Therefore, a new growth strategy for low oil price or even post-oil era is in order.


The themes of the parallel sessions are always varied enough to accommodate diverse research interests. Submissions for presentations in the parallel sessions may be made under the following areas:

1. Macroeconomics
2. Finance
3. International Economics
4. Labor and Human Development
5. Microeconomic and Sectoral studies
6. Institutional Economics/Governance


The deadline for submitting paper proposals is June 4, 2017, and selected applicants will be informed by July 26, 2017. Final papers are due by November 30, 2017. Below is a detailed timetable.

  • June 4, 2017: Deadline for submissions
  • July 26, 2017: Notification of selected proposals
  • November 30, 2017: Deadline for receiving written papers
  • January 2, 2018: Notification of acceptance of papers for presentation
  • March 1, 2018: Pre-conference activities
  • March 2, 2018: Conference begins
  • March 4, 2018: Conference ends
  • May 15, 2018: Revision of papers for publication in the ERF working paper series completed



Paper proposals should not exceed two pages, or 700 words. They should consist of three sections:

1. Motivation and Outline:

This section should provide a clear statement of the problem at hand, the knowledge gap the paper will address in light of existing literature and how the proposed research will contribute to advancing knowledge about the subject. It should also provide an outline of the final paper.

2. Methodology and Analysis:

This section should clearly identify the research question, the hypothesis to be tested, and the research methodology that will be employed. It should describe the data that will be used in the analysis, as well as its sources and the time span for each variable. It should describe the analytical technique (case studies and/or econometrics) and explain the rationale for using the selected methodology.

3. Policy Implications:

Researchers are encouraged to describe preliminary results and policy implications, if possible. If not, they should explain how the findings will contribute to the understanding of the topic under investigation.


ERF reserves the right to exclude proposals that are not consistent with the above guidelines. In addition, no single author may submit more than two proposals, whether independently or jointly with others. The selection of proposals is based on their evaluation by refereeing committees (blind refereeing process) with marginal adjustment to take into account regional and gender balances. Another round of refereeing will take place to evaluate the completed papers, and authors will be notified of their acceptance for presentation accordingly. All proposals and papers will go through a plagiarism-checking process to ensure their originality and authenticity.
All proposals must specify the theme under which they are submitted. In addition, submissions should include:
• Author(s)’ last and first names, affiliation and position, address, telephone and fax numbers, and email address.
• Author(s)’ CV(s) and the most recently published paper, if any.




For further inquiries, please contact Hoda Azmi, Conference & Logistics Manager, ERF, at 21 Al-Sad Al-Aaly Street, Dokki, Giza, Egypt. Fax (+202) 333 18 604; E-mail: