LCPS in The Economist
In light of growing employment challenges facing Lebanon, The Economist magazine cited an LCPS study in its 23 July article, “Hire Power”, which revealed that 73% of surveyed students believe political connections are important to finding jobs and 20% had used them to secure employment. The study also found that those who resort to political connections are not as well off financially, are members of larger families, have fathers who are more politically active, and tend to have a strong sectarian identity.
Complementing LCPS’s work on labor supply, “Hire Power” focuses on a study by Dr. Ishac Diwan and Dr. Jamal Haidar on labor demand, which documents connections between Lebanese politicians and business owners in the country. The authors found that in 2009—an election year—politically connected firms hired 14,500 extra people, compared to 8,000 in other years; unconnected firms hired just 4,000 in election years, compared to their average of 6,000 in other years. Such practices have two major consequences: One, they distort the labor market as a result of political favors trumping skills and merit in many instances. Two, they negatively impact the electoral process as voters elect politicians who get them jobs rather than those who would best develop programmatic policies.