This research develops a macroeconomic analysis of Lebanon. The findings of the analysis are presented in the following separate but related topic areas:
International Trade (Exports & Imports)
Labor Force Participation (Employment & Unemployment)
In the mid-1950s, Lebanon was a prosperous and thriving nation in the Middle East. The French Mandate had been terminated, and, following the end of the Second World War, Lebanon had become and independent democracy, albeit one with its own unique political structure, which effectively accommodated its many religious and political factions.
Bishara Khoury headed the Lebanese government from 1943 to 1952. He understood that cooperation among the country's many factions was essential for national survival. Thus, while it was necessary for the Christian factions to permit some degree of national support for Pan-Arab nationalism, it was, at the same time, necessary for the Sunni segment of the Lebanese population to temper their support for this movement (Gilmour, 1994).
Khoury (Quoted in Hudson, 1968) declared to the Lebanese parliament in 1943 that the country was, "a homeland with an Arab-face seeking the beneficial good from the culture of the West" (p. 63). Policies based on this perception of the country, led to (a) abolishing Lebanon's customs union with Syria, which made the Christian factions in the country happy, and (b) committing the Lebanese Army to the Arab cause in the first Arab-Israeli war in 1948, which pleased the Lebanese Sunnis (Gilmour, 1994).
The Arab-Israeli war in 1948 held unpleasant experiences for Lebanon. It brought about the beginning of a mass movement of Palestinians from Palestine to Lebanon. By 1975, the number of Palestinians in Lebanon had increased to 350,000, of which one-third remained in the country's refugee camps (Hirst, 1977).
Within Lebanon, the addition of the displaced Palestinians to the endemic factionalism of Lebanese p...