nep-ara New Economics Papers
on Arab World
Issue of 2009‒09‒26
five papers chosen by
Quentin Wodon
World Bank

  1. On the short-term influence of oil price changes on stock markets in GCC countries: linear and nonlinear analyses By Mohamed El Hedi Arouri; Julien Fouquau
  2. Why Do Arab State Lag the World in Gender Equality? By Norris, Pippa
  3. Muslim Integration into Western Cultures: Between Origins and Destinations By Inglehart, Ronald; Norris, Pippa
  4. Can Denmark’s Flexicurity System Be Replicated In Developing Countries? The Case Of Turkey By Gundogan, Naci
  5. Trust and the Reference Point for Trustworthiness in Gulf and Western Countries By Bohnet, Iris; Hermann, Benedikt; Zeckhauser, Richard

  1. By: Mohamed El Hedi Arouri (LEO); Julien Fouquau (LEO)
    Abstract: This paper examines the short-run relationships between oil prices and GCC stock markets. Since GCC countries are major world energy market players, their stock markets may be susceptible to oil price shocks. To account for the fact that stock markets may respond nonlinearly to oil price shocks, we have examined both linear and nonlinear relationships. Our findings show that there are significant links between the two variables in Qatar, Oman, and UAE. Thus, stock markets in these countries react positively to oil price increases. For Bahrain, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia we found that oil price changes do not affect stock market returns.
    Date: 2009–05
  2. By: Norris, Pippa (Harvard University)
    Abstract: Why do Arab states lag behind the rest of the world in gender equality? Social structural, cultural, and institutional accounts offer alternative perspectives. This study critiques the 'petroleum patriarchy' thesis, presented in Michael Ross's "Oil, Islam and Women" (2008), which claims that the structure of oil-rich economies directly limit the role of women in the paid workforce and thus also (indirectly) restrict women's representation in parliament. In particular, Part I raises questions about the empirical evidence used by Ross, especially the selection of case-studies, the specification of the econometric models, and the lack of direct evidence for cultural values. Part II develops multilevel models demonstrating that religious traditions have a greater influence on attitudes towards gender equality and sexual liberalization than either labor force participation or oil rents. Part III then shows the impact of these cultural attitudes on the proportion of women in legislative and ministerial office. The conclusion summarizes the main findings and considers their implications.
    Date: 2009–07
  3. By: Inglehart, Ronald (University of Michigan); Norris, Pippa (Harvard University)
    Abstract: To what extent do migrants carry their culture with them, and to what extent do they acquire the culture of their new home? The answer not only has important political implications; it also helps us understand the extent to which basic cultural values are enduring or malleable; and whether cultural values are traits of individuals or are attributes of a given society. Part I considers theories about the impact of growing social diversity in Western nations. We classify two categories of society: ORIGINS (defined as Islamic Countries of Origin for Muslim migrants, including twenty nations with plurality Muslim populations) and DESTINATIONS (defined as Western Countries of Destination for Muslim migrants, including twenty?two OECD member states with Protestant or Roman Catholic majority populations). Using this framework, we demonstrate that on average, the basic social values of Muslim migrants fall roughly mid?way between those prevailing in their country of origin and their country of destination. We conclude that Muslim migrants do not move to Western countries with rigidly fixed attitudes; instead, they gradually absorb much of the host culture, as assimilation theories suggest.
    Date: 2009–03
  4. By: Gundogan, Naci
    Abstract: Finding a new balance between flexibility and security is a big challenge for all. According to the European Council “Providing the right balance between flexibility and security will support the competitiveness of firms, increase quality and productivity at work and help firms and workers to adapt to economic change”. Denmark provides an interesting combination of high labor market dynamism and relatively high social protection –the so-called flexicurity approach. The Danish model of flexicurity points to a third way between the flexibility often attributed to deregulated Anglo-Saxon countries and strict job protection characterising Southern European countries. In this paper, the Danish case of flexicurity will be analyzed and the answers of these questions will be searched: Can a new balance between flexibility and security solve labor market problems of developing world? Can Denmark’s flexicurity system be replicated in developing countries? Can a new flexicurity system be improved for developing countries?
    Keywords: Flexicurity; Labor Market; Developing Countries; Danish Model
    JEL: J08 J01
    Date: 2009
  5. By: Bohnet, Iris (Harvard University); Hermann, Benedikt (European Commission); Zeckhauser, Richard (Harvard University)
    Abstract: Why is private investment so low in Gulf compared to Western countries? We investigate cross-regional differences in trust and reference points for trustworthiness as possible factors. Experiments controlling for cross-regional differences in institutions and beliefs about trustworthiness reveal that Gulf citizens pay much more than Westerners to avoid trusting, and hardly respond when returns to trusting change. These differences can be explained by subjects' gain/loss utility relative to their region's reference point for trustworthiness. The relation-based production of trust in the Gulf induces higher levels of trustworthiness, albeit within groups, than the rule-based interactions prevalent in the West.
    Date: 2009–06

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