nep-ara New Economics Papers
on Arab World
Issue of 2010‒04‒17
thirteen papers chosen by
Quentin Wodon
World Bank

  1. Brain Drain from Turkey: Return Intentions of Skilled Migrants By Nil Demet Güngör; Aysit Tansel
  2. Islamic Finance:Structure-objective mismatch and its consequences By Hasan, Zubair
  3. Brain Drain from Turkey: Return Intentions of Skilled Migrants By Nil Demet Gungor; Aysit Tansel
  4. Hazard Analysis of Unemployment Duration by Gender in a Developing Country: The Case of Turkey By Aysit Tansel; H. Mehmet Tasci
  5. Are Islamic Investment Certificates Special? Evidence on the Post-Announcement Performance of Sukuk Issues By Christophe J. Godlewski; Rima Turk-Ariss; Laurent Weill
  6. Effects of Ownership and Market Share on Performance of Mobile Operators in MENA Region By Almas Heshmati; Rachid EL-RHINAOUI
  7. Turkish Associations in Metropolitan Stockholm: Organizational Differentiation and Socio-Political Participation of Turkish Immigrants By Akis , Yasemin; Kalaylioglu, Mahir
  8. The Role of Education in Preparing Graduates for the Labor Market in the GCC Countries By Lynn A. Karoly
  9. Capital flows and economic growth across spectral frequencies: Evidence from Turkey By Nuri Yildirim; Huseyin Tastan
  10. Measuring inequality of opportunity with imperfect data : the case of Turkey By Ferreira, Francisco H. G.; Gignoux, Jeremie; Aran, Meltem
  11. Finances of Egyptian listed firms and the performance of the Egyptian stock exchange By Feyen, Erik
  12. A Critical Review of Opinion Polls relating to Iranian Voting Intentions: Problems of Research Methodology as applied to Complex Societies By Suzuki, Hitoshi
  13. Impacts of the triple global crisis on growth and poverty in Yemen By Breisinger, Clemens; Collion, Marie-Helen; Diao, Xinshen; Rondot, Pierre

  1. By: Nil Demet Güngör (Atilim University); Aysit Tansel (Middle East Technical University and Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA))
    Abstract: The study estimates an empirical model of return intentions using a dataset compiled from an internet survey of Turkish professionals residing abroad. In the migration literature, wage differentials are often cited as an important factor explaining skilled migration. The findings of our study suggest, however, that non-pecuniary factors, such as the importance of family and social considerations, are also influential in the return or non-return decision of the highly educated. In addition, economic instability in Turkey, prior intensions to stay abroad and work experience in Turkey also increase non-return. Female respondents also appear less likely to return indicating a more selective migration process for females.
    Keywords: skilled migration, brain drain, return intentions, Turkey
    JEL: F20 F22
    Date: 2010
  2. By: Hasan, Zubair
    Abstract: This paper raises the issue of an initial structure-objective mismatch in the launching of Islamic finance. The abolition of interest and promotion of growth with equity were goals of the conceived system. These goals expressed a long run vision to improve the condition of the Muslim communities across the world. However, the organizational form adopted for Islamic finance was of the existing commercial banks which provided essentially short-term loans on interest to trade industry and commerce. The choice thus involved an intrinsic mismatch between the structure and objectives of Islamic finance. The mismatch did carry some advantages, but on a more important side it exposed Islamic finance to commitments and influences which could not mostly align well with the goals the pioneers had in mind. Note that in focus here is not the reversal of the mismatch but its consequences that have forced the nascent Islamic system to convergence and competition with the mature conventional finance the West dominates. It is not the ground realities that are being adapted to Shari’ah norms; it is the norms that are being stretched to limit for meeting the demands of the conventional system. Ordinary Muslims who hoped to benefit from Islamic financing remain unattended. Thus, what Islamic finance can or cannot change will depend on where its ongoing integration with the conventional system leads it to. Currently, most merits claimed for the Islamic system defy evidence. The basic reforms financial systems require in the face of current crisis are the control of credit, leverage lure, and speculation. Islamic finance is in principle better equipped to achieve these ends.
    Keywords: Keywords: Islamic finance; convergence; Shari’ah compliance; credit creation; leverage; derivatives; financial crisis
    JEL: E51 E42 E50 E44
    Date: 2010–01
  3. By: Nil Demet Gungor (Department of Economics, Atilim University); Aysit Tansel (Department of Economics, METU)
    Abstract: The study estimates an empirical model of return intentions using a dataset compiled from an internet survey of Turkish professionals residing abroad. In the migration literature, wage differentials are often cited as an important factor explaining skilled migration. The findings of our study suggest, however, that non-pecuniary factors, such as the importance of family and social considerations, are also influential in the return or non-return decision of the highly educated. In addition, economic instability in Turkey, prior intensions to stay abroad and work experience in Turkey also increase non-return. Female respondents also appear less likely to return indicating a more selective migration process for females.
    Keywords: Skilled migration, brain drain, return intentions, Turkey
    JEL: F20 F22
    Date: 2009–10
  4. By: Aysit Tansel (Department of Economics, METU); H. Mehmet Tasci (Department of Econometrics, Bal?kesir University)
    Abstract: There is little evidence on unemployment duration and its determinants in developing countries. This study is on the duration aspect of unemployment in a developing country, Turkey. We analyze the determinants of the probability of leaving unemployment for employment or the hazard rate. The effects of the personal and household characteristics and the local labor market conditions are examined. The analyses are carried out for men and women separately. The results indicate that the nature of unemployment in Turkey exhibits similarities to the unemployment in both the developed and the developing countries.
    Keywords: unemployment duration, hazard analysis, gender, Turkey
    JEL: J64 C41 J16
    Date: 2009–10
  5. By: Christophe J. Godlewski (LaRGE Research Center, Université de Strasbourg); Rima Turk-Ariss (Lebanese American University); Laurent Weill (LaRGE Research Center, Université de Strasbourg)
    Abstract: The last decade has witnessed rapid expansion of Islamic financial instruments, notably with the proliferation of Islamic investment certificates called Sukuk. Sukuk generally represent the Islamic financial instrument equivalent to conventional bonds. We evaluate the economic differences between these financing techniques and appraise the implications on the future expansion of Sukuk. We use a market-based approach to investigate whether investors react differently to the announcements of issues of Sukuk and conventional bonds. We find that the stock market is neutral to the announcement of conventional bonds, but we observe a significant negative stock market reaction to the announcement of Sukuk. We explain this different stock market reaction using the adverse selection mechanism, which favors Sukuk issuance by lower-quality debtor companies. Unlike arguments presented in prior literature, our results support the view that differences exist between Sukuk and conventional bonds because the market is able to distinguish among these securities.
    Keywords: Financial instruments, Islamic finance, sukuk, event studies.
    JEL: G14 P51
    Date: 2010
  6. By: Almas Heshmati; Rachid EL-RHINAOUI (Technology Management, Economics and Policy Program(TEMEP), Seoul National University)
    Abstract: The process of telecommunication liberalization and increased competition evolves fast and as a result the market competition and the structure of mobile industry changes heterogeneously across the Middle East and North African (MENA) countries. This study attempts to analyze the effects of foreign ownership and the market share on the traffic and financial performance of mobile operators in MENA region. To achieve these objectives, we analyze the mobile industry¡¯s performances using an unbalanced panel data of 13 mobile operators observed over the period from 2002 to 2007. The empirical results showed that both foreign ownership and a higher market share have a significant positive impact on traffic, revenues, returns on sales and returns on investment of mobile operators in the MENA region.
    Keywords: MENA, mobile operator, foreign ownership, market share, profitability
    JEL: C12 C23 D83 G32 L96
    Date: 2009–10
  7. By: Akis , Yasemin (Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS); Kalaylioglu, Mahir (Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS)
    Abstract: Since 1970s when multiculturalism was accepted as the official integration policy, Sweden encourages immigrants to organize themselves along ethnic lines and ethnic migrant organizations are considered as one of the channels for immigrants’ social and political participation to the Swedish society. Today Turks are among those immigration groups in Sweden with the widest network of association, with regard to quantitative indicators such as the number of associations and members. This study aims to explore the general characteristics of the Turkish migrant associations in Stockholm and associational differentiation process which continues since the beginning of 1990s. Through these two main lines, we also aim to find out to what extent national and local Turkish associations function as the channels of political and social participation for Turkish migrants. The results of the study reveal that national federations (including also that of women and youth) are close to act as a spokesman or a pressure group for their constituency, however, local associations do not assume a particular role in the social and political participation of Turkish migrants. Yet, as a whole, they face serious problems such as financial difficulties and the absence of active members. Moreover, it is also emphasized in the study that, in explaining these problems and the decline of associational activities among migrants, special attention is also to be given to the Swedish state, which has always assumed an active role in the development of migrant associations in Sweden through certain mechanisms.
    Keywords: migrant associations; Turkish migrants; socio-political participation; organizational differentiation; Sweden
    JEL: Y80 Z19
    Date: 2010–04–06
  8. By: Lynn A. Karoly
    Abstract: In the 21st century knowledge economy, education plays an increasingly important role in preparing new labor market entrants for the workforce and providing skill upgrading throughout the working career. The vital role of education is propelled by the rapid pace of technological change, as well as the interdependent, global economy, forces that together demand a workforce with the capacity for leadership, problem solving, and collaboration and communication in a wide range of economic sectors. Within this context, the education and workforce development systems are critical for supporting human capital development throughout the life course. This paper reviews these broader trends regarding the role of education in the labor market and then considers the implications for education in the countries of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), namely Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Where data are available, the paper examines patterns of educational attainment overall in these countries, evidence of the quality of the education systems and the graduates they produce, and the labor market benefits of higher educational attainment. It also assesses gender differences, where possible, in each of these indicators of interest. The paper concludes by enumerating several key challenges facing the Gulf countries in promoting strong education systems and well functioning labor markets to meet the labor force needs in the private and public sectors in the 21st century global economy.
    Date: 2010–02
  9. By: Nuri Yildirim (Yildiz Technical University); Huseyin Tastan (Yildiz Technical University)
    Abstract: In this paper we study the interactions and feedbacks between three categories of net capital flows and growth in the Turkish economy for the 1992:01-2009:01 period using frequency domain techniques. Our main spectral analysis tool is a new version of the causality test of Geweke (1982) and Hosoya (1991) in the frequency domain developed by Breitung and Candelon (2006). Besides, we make use of other tools of spectrum analysis such as cospectrum, squared coherence, phase and gain spectrums to decompose total covariance between capital flows and growth across main frequency bands and capture lead/lag interactions between them. Some of our empirical findings are as follows: Variance decompositions over frequency bands reveal that variations in individual capital flow categories are concentrated over high (seasonal) frequencies. We found no feedback from short-term and long-term ‘other’ investments to growth in these frequencies. However, there are highly significant feedbacks from growth to short-term and long-term capital inflows over business cycle and seasonal frequencies. Spectral variance decompositions reveal that, in general, percentage of variation in capital flows due to economic growth is much higher than the percentage of variation in growth due to capital flows.
    Keywords: Capital flows, causality in frequency domain, Geweke’s measure of feedback, Turkey
    JEL: C32 F21 F32 F43
    Date: 2009
  10. By: Ferreira, Francisco H. G.; Gignoux, Jeremie; Aran, Meltem
    Abstract: The measurement of inequality of opportunity has hitherto not been attempted in a number of countries because of data limitations. This paper proposes two alternative approaches to circumventing the missing data problems in countries where a demographic and health survey and an ancillary household expenditure survey are available. One method relies only on the demographic and health survey, and constructs a wealth index as a measure of economic advantage. The alternative method imputes consumption from the ancillary survey into the demographic and health survey. In both cases, the between-type share of overall inequality is computed as a lower bound estimator of inequality of opportunity. Parametric and non-parametric estimates are calculated for both methods, and the parametric approach is shown to yield preferable lower-bound measures. In an application to the sample of ever-married women aged 30-49 in Turkey, inequality of opportunity accounts for at least 26 percent (31 percent) of overall inequality in imputed consumption (the wealth index).
    Keywords: Inequality,Economic Theory&Research,Population Policies,Rural Poverty Reduction,Equity and Development
    Date: 2010–02–01
  11. By: Feyen, Erik
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the finances of Egypt's listed firms and the performance of the Egyptian stock exchange during the period 2003-07/08. Egyptian companies can be clearly divided into a top tier and a second tier. Egypt's top tier of listed firms tends to finance themselves mainly from operating cash flows, trade credits, and other short-term borrowing. This raises questions as to whether recent performance could have been even better had these firms done more in the way of long-term financing and long-term investment. This issue is even starker for a large second tier of much smaller firms. Regarding the stock market, the analysis finds that the Egyptian Exchange has experienced extraordinary market capitalization growth fueled by strong price increases. Market activity has been increasing as well, but reached expected levels only recently. Despite strong improvement, however, many companies remain illiquid. In its ability to raise capital, Egypt seems to do well, but privatizations and relatively low gross fixed capital formation might distort this picture.
    Keywords: Debt Markets,Access to Finance,Banks&Banking Reform,Economic Theory&Research,Emerging Markets
    Date: 2010–02–01
  12. By: Suzuki, Hitoshi
    Abstract: After the 10th Iranian Presidential election on June 12, 2009, several public opinion polls taken in Iran attracted the attention of policy-makers and journalists around the world because of the political crisis that followed. In this paper I first review critically the polls conducted by the WPO (, PIPA (Program on International Policy Attitudes) at the University of Maryland. I also review an essay by Steven Kull, which is based on the aforementioned poll results and which in my opinion leads to false conclusions concerning Iran’s political prospects. I also discuss “An Analysis of Multiple Polls of the Iranian Public,†published by WPO-PIPA on February 3 2010. The present paper arrives at the overall conclusion that it is impossible to obtain an accurate image of political opinions in societies as complicated as that of Iran by concentrating on only one technique of research and analysis, especially when the political and social situation in the society concerned is in a state of constant flux.
    Keywords: Iran, Elections, Presidential Election, Opinion Polls, Political Crisis
    Date: 2010–03
  13. By: Breisinger, Clemens; Collion, Marie-Helen; Diao, Xinshen; Rondot, Pierre
    Abstract: Yemen is an oil-exporting and food-importing country on the Arabian Peninsula with persistently high levels of poverty. The impacts of the food, fuel, and financial global crises are likely to further complicate preexisting conditions of internal conflicts, decreasing oil revenues, and governance failure. The latest official growth numbers date back to precrisis levels; new estimates are subject to much debate; and the current state of poverty in Yemen remains unclear. In this paper, a consistent economic framework is presented to help close this information gap and to better understand growth and poverty dynamics during crises. Results show that economic growth in Yemen accelerated during the food and fuel crises in 2008 because oil-driven growth dominated the negative growth impacts of the food crisis. However, this oil-driven growth has not been pro-poor; in fact, poverty in both rural and urban areas rises sharply in 2008. The financial crisis in 2009 impacts Yemen mainly through the drop in oil prices and a reduction in remittances and thereby sharply slows growth, including agricultural growth. This growth decline hits households hard and compounds the poverty effects of the food crisis. Model results indicate that poverty has increased to 42.8 percent in 2009, an increase of 8 percentage points from 2005–2006, when it was 34.8 percent. Poverty continues to be much higher in rural areas, where almost half of all people lived in poverty in 2009, compared with 29.9 percent in urban areas. These estimates can be considered conservative because we do not account for conflicts and natural disasters that recently hit the country.
    Keywords: Conflict, Development strategies, global economic crises, Growth, Poverty,
    Date: 2010

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