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Kubursi Atif, Professor Emeritus

Atif Kubursi

Professor Emeritus

Emeritus Faculty
Department of Economics


Research Interests: Economic Development

Atif Kubursi is Professor Emeritus of Economics at McMaster University. He is also President of Econometric Research Limited. In 1982, he joined the United Nations Industrial Organization as Senior Development Officer. Since then he worked as a team leader of several UNIDO missions to Indonesia, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Sudan, and Egypt. In 2006 he was appointed Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UN-ESCWA).

He has published extensively in the areas of macroeconomics, economic development strategies, international trade, impact analysis and regional planning with special emphasis on the environment, tourism and industrial development. He has frequently lectured on globalization issues, economic development, oil and industrialization, impact of tourism on provincial and local economies, political economy of development, Arab affairs and on environment-economy linkages.He has published 10 books and over 250 journal articles and technical reports.

Dr. Kubursi also taught economics at Purdue University in Indiana, USA, was a senior visiting scholar at Cambridge University, UK., and lectured and consulted at Harvard. As a professor of economics who has studied international trade for the last 40 years, what Canada is facing today with respect to renegotiating NAFTA is not surprising but certainly represents a stark contrast with the past record of the American/Canadian trade relationship.


Ph.D Purdue University 1969


Recent Research Papers

The Struggle for the Jordan Waters. Middle East Economic Survey. (Forthcoming).

Financial Meltdown or an Economic Collapse: The Limits of Ideological Prescriptions." Aljazeera Studies Series, 2009.

"The Global Financial Crisis and the Arab Sovereign Wealth Funds: Implications and Limitations." In Managing Arab Sovereign Wealth in Turbulent Times and Beyond, Sven Behrerndt and Bassma Kodmani (Eds.) Carnegie Papers, 2009, pp. 28-32.

 "The State Vs. the Market: A Flase Dichotomy." Journal of Development and Economic Policies.


Vol. 11, No.2. July 2009. pp. 7-57

 "Kyoto Protocol and Carbon Sequestration Credits as an Economic Instrument," in Global Warming and Climate Change. Velma Grover (ed;). Enfield, NJ: Science Publishers. 2008. pp. 293-314.

"The Palestinian Economy Under Occupation: Economicide," Peace and Security Journal. Vol.3, Issue 2, 2008, pp. 16-24 (with F, Naqib).

"Poverty Eradication from a Human Development Perspective," UNESCO, 2008.

"The Arab Knowledge Economy- Scenarios for the Future," The Arab Knowledge Report. A. Abdullah (ed.). Al. Maktoum Foundation and UNDP.2008.

"The Economics of Migration and Remittances Under Globalization," in Full Employment and Decent Work, New York: United Nations.2006, pp.159-174.

"The Economy of Lebanon, 1950-2002: What Happened to the Lebanese Economic Miracle?" Journal of Social Affairs, Vol.  23, Issue # 89, Spring 2006, PP. 13-39 (with John Siam).

"The Knowledge-Based Economy," UNESCO Encyclopedia. 2006. pp. 134-165.

"The Logic of Arab Economic Reform and its Implications," in Current Changes and its Role in Arab Reform, Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research. 2006, pp.67-98.

"Water Scarcity and Water Wars in the Middle East," in Water, Global Commons and Global Problems. Velma Grover (ed).Oxford and INH Publishing Co., 2005, pp.617-646.

"Oil and the Global Economy," in The Iraq War Causes and Consequences, Rick Fawn and R. Hinnebusch (eds). Lynne Rienner Publishers. 2005, pp.210-123. 

"If Oil is so Scarce why are Arabs so Weak," in Arab Development Horizons. Nader Fergani and Taher Kanaan (eds). 2005, pp.126-154.

"The Economics of Migration Under Globalization," in International Migration and the Millennium Development Goals. New York: United Nations, 2005, pp. 155-168 (with Madona Mokbel).

"The Role of Transportation in Trade Competitiveness: Understanding the Context Through Quantitative Measures," Old Foundations and Modern Challenges, Proceedings of the 40th Annual Conference of the Canadian Transportation Research Forum, May 8-11, 2005, pp. 158-171.

"Water Crises, The Environment and Arab Sustainable Development," in Palestinian and Israeli Environmental Narratives. Stuart Schoenfeld (ed;) Toronto: Centre for International Security Studies. 2005, pp. 31-47.  

"A Note on Environmental Technologies and Economic Growth," Social Affairs. 2004.

"A Development Strategy for Post-War Iraq," in Issues in Economic and Social Reconstruction. United Nations, July 2003.

"Development Perspectives on and a Decision Support System for Aboriginal Community -  Based Economies: The Case of Moose Cree First Nation, Northern Ontario," Natural Resources Canada, Northern Forestry Centre, Information Paper NOR-X-390. 2003. (with A Ghbremichael).

"Crises in Economic Theories, Models and Methodology," Al Mustaqbal Al Arabi , Vol. 274 (December 2001) pp. 30-56.

"Oil and Water Never Mix Except in the Arab World," in Arab Economic Concerns. T. Kanaan (ed.;), Beirut: Centre of Arab Unity Studies, 2001, pp. 187-206. 

"Valuing Palestinian Losses in Today's Dollars," Palestinian Refugees: The Right of Return N. Aruri (ed.), London: Plutto Press, 2001, pp. 217-251.

 "Iraq: A Strategy for Reconstruction Under Crisis Conditions," Al Mustaqbql Al Arabi, Vol. 295. No.9, September 2003, pp.46-67. (with Ali Kadri).

"Revisiting the Role of the State in Economic and Social Development," Al Mustaqbal Al Arabi, Vol. 282 (August 2002) pp. 53-78.      

"Transition from the Old to the New Economy," in Review of   Industrial Strategies and Policies: Preparing for the Twenty-First Century. (New York: United Nations. 2002. pp. 31-55).

"The Arab Economy in Western Eyes," in Revising Culture: Reinventing Peace, N.Aruri and M Shuraydi (eds.), New York: Olive Branch press, 2001, pp.134-158.

"Valuing Palestinian Losses in Today's Dollars," in Palestinian Refugees: The Right of Return. N. Aruri (ed.), London: Plutto Press, 2001, pp. 217-251.

"Sustainable Human Development Under Globalisation," Human Development Studies Series No.10. United Nations. 1999. A Policy Matrix for Agricultural Policy in Lebanon. New York:  United Nations. ESCWA. 2000.

"The Potential For Agricultural Development in Palestine: A Dynamic Multi-region Optimization Model (ASAP)," New York: United Nations, 1999.

"Water, The Environment and Sustainable Development," Journal of Development and Economic Policies. Vol 1, No.2, June 1999, pp.7-37.

"The Environment and Arab Sustainable Development?" A Keynote Address in New Economic Developments and their Impact on Arab Economies. Ahmad Al-Kawaz (ed.). Amsterdam: North-Holland, 1999, pp 407-444.

"Economic Exchange Under Asymmetrical Options: The Challenge of Peace with Israel." in Impact of the Peace Process on Selected Sectors Beirut: Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, Economic Research Forum, 1999, pp 115-156.

"Reconstructing the Economy of Lebanon," Arab Studies Quarterly. Vol. 21, No. 1 (Winter 1999), pp. 69-96.

"Arab Integration After Oslo," in The Middle East Dilemma: The Politics and Economics of Arab Integration. M. Hudson (ed.) New York: Columbia University Press, 1999, pp. 299-319.