nep-ara New Economics Papers
on Arab World
Issue of 2009‒08‒08
nine papers chosen by
Quentin Wodon
World Bank

  1. Petrodollars and Imports of Oil Exporting Countries. By Roland Beck; Annette Kamps
  2. The efficiency of Islamic and conventional banks in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries: An analysis using financial ratios and data envelopment analysis By Jill Johnes; Marwan Izzeldin; Vasilleios Pappas
  3. In Memory of Dr. Ali Al-Gritly (1913-1982): His Views on Egypt’s Experience with Socialism By Yamada, Toshikazu
  4. Trade, Aid, Remittances and Migration By Sule Akkoyunlu
  6. The Role of USAID in Development in Egypt By Attia, Sayed Moawad
  7. Constructing Female Subject: Narratives on Family and Life Security among the Urban Poor in Turkey By Murakami, Kaoru
  8. Muslim Legal Norms and the Integration of European Muslims By Maleiha Malik
  9. Contract Enforcement, Institutions and Social Capital: the Maghribi Traders Reappraised By Edwards, J.; Ogilvie, S.

  1. 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
  2. By: Jill Johnes; Marwan Izzeldin; Vasilleios Pappas
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to provide an in-depth analysis, using both financial ratio analysis and data envelopment analysis (DEA), of a consistent sample of Islamic and conventional banks located in the GCC region over the period 2004 to 2007. Results from the financial ratio analysis indicate that Islamic banks are less cost efficient but more revenue and profit efficient than conventional banks. Differences in performance between Islamic and conventional banks are significant in the case of four of the six ratios. The DEA results indicate that gross efficiency (i.e. the efficiency of each bank relative to the whole banking sector) is significantly higher, on average, amongst conventional compared to Islamic banks. Gross efficiency is decomposed into a component which reflects managerial inadequacies and a component which is a consequence of the constraints caused by bank type. When equity is included as an input into the DEA model (to reflect risk-taking attitudes of banks), there is evidence that the difference in gross performance is more a consequence of the latter than the former since net efficiency (which takes out the inefficiency caused by bank type) is not significantly different, on average, between the two groups. When equity is excluded from the model, however, the inferior performance by Islamic banks is caused by a mix of managerial inefficiency and the rules under which Islamic banks operate. A comparison of the rankings of banks based on DEA efficiencies and financial ratios finds a consistently significant positive relationship only in the case of the gross DEA efficiency scores and the cost ratios. The DEA and financial ratio measures (particularly the revenue and profit ratios) therefore offer different information, and the methods are complements rather than substitutes. Finally, productivity has grown only slightly over the four-year period. This is caused by a fall in efficiency combined with an increase in technology. The magnitude of the components of productivity change is particul
    Keywords: Banking sector, Efficiency, Output distance function, Data Envelopment Analysis, Financial ratio analysis, Gulf region
    Date: 2009
  3. By: Yamada, Toshikazu
    Abstract: This essay reexamines the great contributions made by Dr. Ali Al-Gritly to Egypt. He was the finance minister for a short period at the beginning of the 1950s and later was appointed as chairman of the Bank of Alexandria. In 1966, he completed a book (Al-Gritly [1966 (1974)]) on the economic history of Egypt. However, the book was banned from publication due to irresistible circumstances. At that time, with Arab Socialism on the ascendance, his views on certain policies were not welcomed by the top political hierarchy. In 1974, the book was finally allowed to be published, and he wrote and published another book in 1977 (Al-Gritly [1977]) on the development of the Open Door Policy and the new economic policies accompanying it.
    Keywords: Egypt, Economic history, Economic policy, Socialism, Al-Grity, Ali, Socialist transformation, Family planning, Democratic socialism
    JEL: P27 B31 E5 H1 O2 O3 P21
    Date: 2009–03
  4. By: Sule Akkoyunlu (KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich, Switzerland)
    Abstract: I investigated whether migration is interrelated with trade, aid and remittances so that any policies that consider trade, aid and remittances also affect the decision to migrate. We developed and estimated an empirical model of Turkish migration to Germany and tested the model for the 1969-2004, using the cointegration technique. A single cointegrating vector is found among the gross migration inflows and the following explanatory variables: the relative income ratio between Germany and Turkey, the unemployment rates in Germany and Turkey, aid, the trade intensity variable and the ratio of manufacturing exports with Germany to total exports with Germany and remittances as a ratio of Turkish GDP. The results of this study show that migration, trade, aid and remittances are interrelated, however, migration will be better managed when the dynamic gains from trade and aid are considered. Hence, the broad-based and rapid economic development with increase in income is the only effective means of reducing migration pressures in a labour-surplus country. This is mainly because the income differential is the most significant factor in determining migration flows.
    Keywords: Trade, Aid, Remittances, Migration, Cointegration
    JEL: C22 F16 F22 F24 F35
    Date: 2009–06
  5. By: Paresh Kumar Narayan; Russell Smyth
    Abstract: This paper examines the impact of military expenditure and income on external debt for a panel of six Middle Eastern countries; namely, Oman, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain, Iran, and Jordan, over the period 1988 to 2002. Using Pedroni's (2004) test for panel cointegration, we find that there is a long-run relationship between external debt, military expenditure and income. The estimated long-run elasticities suggest that an increase in military expenditure contributes to a rise in external debt, while an increase in income helps the Middle Eastern countries to pay off their external debt.
    Date: 2009–08
  6. By: Attia, Sayed Moawad
    Abstract: This paper discuses the role of USAID in the development process in Egypt. It discusses the USAID role in Egypt in some sectors with more focus on USAID/Egypt economic growth, more specifically the Technical Assistance for policy Reform II (TAPRII). I will discuss the items of the program that made the environment conducive to trade and investment.
    Keywords: Policy Reform; Trade; Investment; Development; Economic Growth
    JEL: O1 F4 F35 O24 O2 F3 O19 F43
    Date: 2009–08
  7. By: Murakami, Kaoru
    Abstract: This paper examines people’s everyday acts, decisions, and narratives about livelihood and poverty. By doing so, it elucidates the way that family norms produce these acts, decisions, and narratives, and how female subjects are constructed as the result of the effects of family norms, focusing on norms of sexual honor. It shows that people’s sense of belonging is deeply grounded on kinship and it does not just disappear, even if monetary exchange declines and/or conjugal love is idealized. In fact, the value of sexual honor seems to be embedded within the concept of love. Agreeing with the current argument for the necessity of reorganizing the social security system based on citizenship, in order to respond to the changing nature of poverty, this paper argues nonetheless that it would be misleading to suppose that these formal legal institutions would directly shape the citizen subject.
    Keywords: Poverty, Sense of belonging, Kinship, Female subject, Turkey, Family, Women
    Date: 2009–03
  8. By: Maleiha Malik
    Abstract: This paper examines the potential for accommodating Muslim legal and ethical norms within European liberal democracies. It focuses on areas of personal life such as family norms and ethics. The main argument of the paper is that in some areas - such as divorce or contract law - there is potential for accommodating Muslim legal and ethical norms within mainstream political and legal institutions. The advantage of this strategy is that it can encourage Muslims to identify with national political and legal institutions. This strategy can, in turn, encourage the integration of Muslims into mainstream European institutions and promote the goals of social cohesion. However, the accommodation of some relgious and cultural norms in this way can create a risk of harm to women. Therefore, there need to be special processes to ensure that Muslim women's autonomy is safeguarded. The paper includes a case study and discussion of Muslim family law arbitration, and the use of 'sharia tribunals', in Great Britain.
    Date: 2009–06–15
  9. By: Edwards, J.; Ogilvie, S.
    Abstract: Economists draw important lessons for modern development from the medieval Maghribi traders who, it has been argued, enforced contracts collectively through a closed, private-order coalition. We show that this view is untenable. Not a single empirical example adduced as evidence of the putative coalition shows that any coalition actually existed. Furthermore, the Maghribis entered business associations with non-Maghribis and used formal enforcement mechanisms. The Maghribi traders cannot be used to argue that the social capital of exclusive, private-order networks will facilitate exchange in developing economies. Nor do they provide any support for the cultural theories of economic development and institutional change for which they have been mobilised.
    JEL: O17
    Date: 2009–07–30

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