nep-ara New Economics Papers
on Arab World
Issue of 2009‒03‒28
six papers chosen by
Quentin Wodon
World Bank

  1. Current Account Determinants for Oil-Exporting Countries By Hanan Morsy
  2. The tariff reduction on Agricultural sector in Iran By Salarpour, Mashallah; Hasanpour, Hadi
  3. Petrodollars and Imports of Oil Exporting Countries. By Roland Beck; Annette Kamps
  4. Constructing a Social Accounting Matrix for Libya By Jamal Kerwat; John Dewhurst; Hassan Molana
  5. The Effects of the War in Iraq on Nutrition and Health: An Analysis Using Anthropometric Outcomes of Children By Gabriela Guerrero-Serdán
  6. Lack of peaceful resolution with Israel: economic cost for Palestinians By Boer, P.M.C. de

  1. By: Hanan Morsy
    Abstract: The paper aims at characterizing the main determinants of the medium-term current account balance for oil-exporting countries using dynamic panel estimation techniques. Previous studies included a very limited number of oil-exporting countries in their samples, raising concerns about the applicability of the estimated coefficients for oil countries. Furthermore, current approaches are not specifically tailored to oil-producing countries because they fail to capture the effects of oil wealth and the degree of maturity in oil production. This paper explores the underlying determinants of the current account balance for a large sample of oilexporting countries, and extends the specifications commonly used in the literature to include an oil wealth variable, as well as a proxy for the degree of maturity in oil production. The paper therefore contributes to the existing literature both in terms of the sample studied as well as the variables considered. The results reveal that factors that matter in determining the equilibrium current account balance of oil-exporting counties are the fiscal balance, the oil balance, oil wealth, age dependency, and the degree of maturity in oil production.
    Keywords: Current account balances , Oil exporting countries , Oil production , Oil revenues , Economic growth , Economic models , Cross country analysis ,
    Date: 2009–02–19
  2. By: Salarpour, Mashallah; Hasanpour, Hadi
    Abstract: This study explains the results of trade reforms for a scenario where reduced tariffs for all imported commodities under the Uruguay Round (UR) since 1995. The Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) analysis and input-output data for Iran using a base year, 1991, were applied simulating the short and long-run effects under the UR. It was proposed that 24 per cent and 27 per cent decreases in ad valorem tariffs on imported agricultural and non-agricultural commodities, respectively, could occur in the short run from 1995. The same scenario was simulated in the long run to examine the impact of trade reforms on Iran for the past decade. Three crops results of this scenario were analysed by considering the projections. The results confirm a positive impact on the economy of Iran if tariffs were reduced under the UR. The domestic prices and production costs would fall and primary factors such as labour and capital would move to industries which have a greater comparative advantage. Rice was estimated to grow by 2.98 per cent but sugar beet and sugar cane decreased by 1.02 per cent in the short run.
    Keywords: Tariff reduction, CGE Model, Uruguay Round (UR), Iranian economy, Agricultural products,
    Date: 2009
  3. By: Roland Beck (European Central Bank, Kaiserstrasse 29, D-60311 Frankfurt am Main, Germany.); Annette Kamps (European Central Bank, Kaiserstrasse 29, D-60311 Frankfurt am Main, Germany.)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the empirical determinants of import demand in oil exporting countries. Using a new dataset including a large cross section of oil exporting countries, we show with a panel cointegration analysis that import demand in these countries depends positively on domestic demand and exports, the real exchange rate and the price of oil. Fiscal surpluses, on the other hand, tend to reduce the demand for imports. More specifically, our import elasticities estimated for oil exporting countries are not far from estimates found in the literature on industrial countries. In particular, we conclude that the import elasticity with respect to domestic activity is larger than one – a finding which is in contrast to standard theoretical predictions but in line with most empirical findings for other countries. These results are robust over a wide set of alternative specifications. JEL Classification: F14, F01, Q43.
    Keywords: Import equation, oil exporting countries, panel cointegration.
    Date: 2009–02
  4. By: Jamal Kerwat; John Dewhurst; Hassan Molana
    Abstract: In this paper a Social Accounting Matrix is constructed for Libya for the year 2000. The procedure was divided into three steps. First, a macro SAM was constructed to consistently capture and represent the macroeconomic framework of the Libyan economy in 2000. Second, that macro SAM was disaggregated into a micro SAM incorporating the accounts for individual activities, primary factors and the main economic institutions. But the SAM obtained in this way was not balanced. So in the final step we balanced the SAM using a cross-entropy procedure in General Algebraic Modelling System (GAMS). This SAM integrates national income, input-output, flow-of-funds, and foreign trade statistics into a comprehensive and consistent dataset. The lack of coherent time series data for Libya is a serious obstacle for applied research that uses econometric analysis. Our main intension in constructing this SAM has been one of providing benchmark data for economy-wide analysis using CGE modelling for Libya.
    Keywords: input-output table, social accounting matrix, national accounts, cross-entropy
    JEL: Y1 O5
    Date: 2009–01
  5. By: Gabriela Guerrero-Serdán (Department of Economics, Royal Holloway, University of London)
    Abstract: The war in Iraq initiated in March 2003 triggered a wave of violence and turmoil in the country, exposing households to insecurity and to instability in daily life. The level of violence has varied across provinces, the south and centre areas being the most affected. Using the different intensities of the conflict across areas and the age at exposure to the war among cohorts, I analyze a possible causal effect of the war on nutritional outcomes of children. I use two empirical strategies, leading to very similar results. Estimates indicate that children born in areas affected by high levels of violence are 0.8 cm shorter than children born in low violence provinces. These results are robust to several specifications. Furthermore, the paper also addresses the channels through which the conflict has affected health and nutrition. The results have not only short-term policy implications, but also, given the empirical evidence of the impact of early child malnutrition on later education, labour and productivity outcomes, the results are of great importance for the future.
    Keywords: health; nutrition; shocks; war; children; Iraq
    JEL: I10 J10 O15
    Date: 2009–03
  6. By: Boer, P.M.C. de (Erasmus Econometric Institute)
    Abstract: We propose to estimate the economic cost for Palestine and for Palestinian residents due to the lack of peaceful resolution with Israel. Thereto we make use of the consensus estimates of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB) of real growth rates of economic variables and of the nominal national accounts for Palestine over the period 1994-2006. We identify four periods: 1994-1999 with high real growth rates of gross domestic product (GDP) and of gross national income (GNI); 2000-2002 with a strong decline; 2003-2005 with a modest growth; and 2006 with a renewed decline. We derive the real national accounts (prices1999) for the end years: 1999, 2002 and 2005. It follows that over 2000-2002 the real GDP declined by 27.5%; GNI by almost one third; but that real gross disposable income (GDI) “only†declined by 11.3%; and that over 2000-2005 the declines were 13.8% (GDP) ; about 20%(GNI); and 2.9% (GDI), respectively. Consequently, in 2005, the year preceding the renewed isolation of Palestine, real GDP, GNI and GDI were still below their 1999 level. Based on the modest growth scenario of IMF and WB (3% real growth and 3% price increase) we estimate that over the period 2000-2002 the cost for Palestine, measured in terms of nominal GNI, was equal to the GNI of 1999 (5.5 billion US$), and over 2000-2005 to two-and-a-half times the 1999 GNI. Based on the same growth scenario, we estimate the loss for a Palestinian resident, measured in terms of nominal GDI per capita, to be 30% of the 1999 level by the end of 2002 and 25% by the end of 2005.
    Keywords: economic cost;macro-economic indicators;Palestine
    Date: 2008–11–10

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