We examine technical efficiency in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). In addition to economic indicators, political and social ones play a role in development and efficiency profiles. The MENA have been characterized by increasing economic efficiency over time but with marked polarization. We analyze and nest many key hypotheses, e.g., the contributions of religion, of natural resources, demographic pressures, human capital, etc. The originality of our contribution is the use of a large data set (including principal components), and extensive robustness checks. It should set a comprehensive benchmark and cross-check for related studies of development and technical efficiency.