nep-ara New Economics Papers
on Arab World
Issue of 2011‒01‒30
nineteen papers chosen by
Quentin Wodon
World Bank

  1. The implementation of Gulf Dinar among the GCC member countries and its possible impacts By Abdelghani, Echchabi; Osman, Sayid; Isares, Mahamad; Khalid, Sorhiran; Zulhilmi, Zulkifli
  2. Wage Inequality and Returns to Education in Turkey: A Quantile Regression Analysis By Tansel, Aysit; Bircan, Fatma
  3. Neoliberal restructuring in Turkey: From state to oligarchic capitalism By Karadag, Roy
  4. Comovements and Causality of Sector Price Indices: Evidence from the Egyptian Stock Exchange By Ahmed, M.A.
  5. Governance and Private Investment in the Middle East and North Africa By Ahmet Faruk Aysan; M.-K. Nabli; Marie-Ange Veganzones
  6. More Jobs for University Graduates: Some Policy Options for Tunisia. By Marouani, Mohamed Ali
  7. Why Has Unemployment in Algeria Been Higher than in MENA and Transition Countries? By Kangni Kpodar
  8. What Types of Perceived Governance Indicators Matter the Most for Private Investment in Middle East and North Africa By Marie-Ange Veganzones; Ahmet Faruk Aysan; Zeynep Ersoy
  9. Saving and growth in Egypt By Hevia, Constantino; Loayza, Norman
  10. Continuous time modeling of interest rates: An empirical study on the Turkish short rate By Bayraci, Selcuk; UNAL, GAZANFER
  11. The Quest for Intercultural Dialogue in the Euro-Mediterranean Region: Opportunities and Challenges By Sally Khalifa Isaac Atwan
  12. Firm-Level Productivity and Technical Efficiency in MENA Manufacturing Industry: The Role of the Investment Climate By Tidiane Kinda; Patrick Plane; Marie-Ange Veganzones
  13. From Millet to Nation: The Limits of Consociational Resolutions for Middle East Conflict By Sarah Shields
  14. Buoyant Capital Spending and Worries over Real Appreciation: Cold Facts from Algeria By Kangni Kpodar; Boileau Loko; Oumar Diallo
  15. Refining Targeting against Poverty Evidence from Tunisia. By Muller, Christophe; Bibi, Sami
  16. Perception des obstacles aux activités d'innovation dans les entreprises tunisiennes By Rahmouni, Mohieddine
  17. Les délocalisations françaises vers la Turquie By Julien Gourdon
  18. يک نظريه برقانون تعديل ساختاری اقتصادی ايران By Zangeneh, Hamid
  19. Economie politique de la réforme de transition fiscale : le cas du Maroc By Jean-François Brun; Gérard Chambas; Martial Laurent

  1. By: Abdelghani, Echchabi; Osman, Sayid; Isares, Mahamad; Khalid, Sorhiran; Zulhilmi, Zulkifli
    Abstract: The paper analyses the issues surrounding the planned implementation of the Gulf Dinar among the six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – the United Arab Emirates, the State of Bahrain, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Sultanate of Oman, the State of Qatar and the state of Kuwait. The paper will begin with laying down the foundation of attempting to draw any similarities and differences in terms of each country’s economic fundamentals. It will then assess the grand idea for a monetary union by looking at the pros and cons, intra-regional trade, labour and capital movement and the political will of all six GCC countries. Updated issues that may have hampered the introduction of the Gulf Dinar will then be analysed by looking at the economic convergence criteria and its implications. Comparison with the European Monetary Union will be made throughout the paper, where necessary. The paper ends will then come out with a number of suggestions that may improve the implementation of the Gulf Dinar. Lastly, the paper will discuss the political implications of the implementation of the Gulf Dinar as the sole currency for the Gulf countries.
    Keywords: Gulf Dinar; GCC; Khaleej Dinar; Monetary Union; European Union
    JEL: F0 F2 F1 E6 E4
    Date: 2011–01–19
  2. By: Tansel, Aysit (Middle East Technical University); Bircan, Fatma (Middle East Technical University)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the male wage inequality and its evolution over the 1994-2002 period in Turkey by estimating Mincerian wage equations using OLS and quantile regression techniques. Male wage inequality is high in Turkey. While it declined at the lower end of the wage distribution it increased at the top end of wage distribution. Education contributed to higher wage inequality through both within and between dimensions. The within-groups inequality increased and between-groups inequality decreased over the study period. The latter factor may have dominated the former contributing to the observed decline in the male wage inequality over the 1994-2002. Further results are provided for the wage effects of experience, public sector employment, geographic location, firm size, industry of employment and their contribution to wage inequality. Recent increases in FDI inflows, openness to trade and global technological developments are discussed as contributing factors to the recent rising within-groups wage inequality.
    Keywords: wage inequality, returns to education, quantile regression, Turkey
    JEL: J31 J23 J24 I21
    Date: 2010–12
  3. By: Karadag, Roy
    Abstract: How have neoliberal reform policies changed Turkey's political economy? The aim of this paper is to counter claims of convergence towards a liberal capitalist order. Given the historical dynamics of the political embeddedness of Turkey's economy, after 1980, transformations in the state and the economy institutionalized the erosion of Turkish state capitalism. Due to the consolidation of new elite cartels, political fragmentation, and continuing systemic corruption involving networks comprising political and economic elites, what emerged as a result of restructuring is an oligarchic form of capitalism. It is currently undergoing further institutional changes, the outcome of which will depend closely on the power resources and strategies of the incumbent moderate Islamist Justice and Development Party. -- Welche Folgen hatten die neoliberalen Reformen nach 1980 für die politische Ökonomie der Türkei? Der Autor argumentiert gegen weitverbreitete Annahmen einer weltweiten Konvergenz hin zu liberalen kapitalistischen Ordnungen. Zwar wurde das Ende des türkischen Modells des Staatskapitalismus von den neoliberalen Strukturanpassungsprogrammen herbeigeführt, jedoch verhinderten die spezifischen Dynamiken der politischen Einbettung der türkischen Wirtschaft einen Übergang zum liberalen Kapitalismus. Vielmehr hat sich eine oligarchische Variante herausgebildet, deren besondere Merkmale politische Fragmentierung, geringere infrastrukturelle Staatsmacht und systemische Korruptionsverflechtungen zwischen politischen und ökonomischen Eliten sind. Die Wirtschaftsreformen der regierenden moderat islamischen Partei für Gerechtigkeit und Entwicklung sind somit auch kritisch zu bewerten, denn sie wirken nicht losgelöst von Machtansprüchen und -interessen.
    Date: 2010
  4. By: Ahmed, M.A.
    Abstract: Contributing to the meagre published literature on interrelationships amongst stock market sectors of an economy, the present study sets out to examine both the long-run and short-run aspects of the inter-sectoral linkages in the Egyptian stock market. The data correspond to daily closing prices for twelve sectoral indices of the Egyptian stock market, covering the period between January 3, 2007 and January 18, 2010. The multivariate cointegration analysis reports evidence in support of existence of only a single cointegrating vector within the sectoral indices. Moreover, the results of Granger’s causality analysis show that the short-run causal relationships between the sectoral indices are considerably limited and, where they exist, virtually unidirectional. In general, these results lead to the conclusion that there is still room to derive benefits from portfolio diversification in the short run. However, investors with long-term horizon may not benefit from diversifying investments into the different sectors of the Egyptian stock market.
    Keywords: Stock Market sectors; Egypt; Domestic portfolio diversification; Johansen’s cointegration analysis; Granger's causality analysis.
    JEL: D53 C12 N27 C22
    Date: 2011–01
  5. By: Ahmet Faruk Aysan (Departement Economie - Université Bocarici); M.-K. Nabli (Departement Economie - Université Bocarici); Marie-Ange Veganzones (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - CNRS : UMR6587 - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I)
    Abstract: This paper addresses the issue of the low level of private investment in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, with special emphasis on the role of governance. Based on the existing literature, we have categorized what types of governance institutions are more detrimental to entrepreneurial investments. We have then estimated a simultaneous model of private investment and governance quality where economic policies concurrently explain both variables. Our empirical results show that governance plays a significant role in private investment decisions. This result is particularly true in the case of “Administrative Quality” in the form of control of corruption, bureaucratic quality, investment-friendly profile of administration, and law and order, as well as for “Political Stability”. Evidence in favor of “Public Accountability” seems, however, less robust. Our estimations also stress that structural reforms -- such as financial development and trade openness – and human development affect private investment decisions directly, and/or through their positive impact on governance. These findings bring new empirical evidence on the subject of private investment in the developing world and in MENA countries in particular.
    Keywords: governance;private investment;institutions;Middle East and North Africa.
    Date: 2011–01–18
  6. By: Marouani, Mohamed Ali
    Abstract: La combinaison de facteurs démographiques et de progrès dans l’éducation a entraîné une hausse significative du chômage des diplômés dans la région MENA. L’article fournit une analyse de type coût-efficacité de politiques alternatives d’mploi à l’aide d’un modèle d’équilibre général dynamique Le modèle permet une détermination endogène du niveau de chômage à l’aide d’un modèle multisectoriel de salaires d’efficience. Le principal résultat est qu’une subvention salariale ciblée su les secteurs intensifs en main-d’œuvre qualifiée est plus efficace que des réductions d’impôts ou des subventions à l’investissement. Cependant ces subventions salariales ne sont pas suffisantes pou réduire significativement le niveau du chômage. D’autres options doivent être considérées.
    Abstract: The combination of demographic factors and an increase in education has caused a significant rise of university graduates’ unemployment in the MENA region. The article provides a prospective cost- effectiveness analysis of the impact of alternative labor market policies using a dynamic general equilibrium model. The model allows for an endogenous determination of unemployment through a multisectoral efficiency wage setting mechanism. The main finding is that a wage subsidy targeted at highly skilled intensive sectors is more effective than tax reductions or investment subsidies. However, wage subsidies are not enough to reduce significantly unemployment. Other policy options need to be considered.
    Keywords: Tunisie; Tunisia; Afrique du Nord et Moyen Orient; modèle d’équilibre general dynamiques; chômage; main-d’oeuvre qualifiée; politiques de l’emploi; Employment policies; skilled workers; unemployment; dynamic general equilibrium models; Middle East and North Africa;
    JEL: J68 J24 C68
    Date: 2010
  7. By: Kangni Kpodar (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - CNRS : UMR6587 - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the determinants of labor market performance in Algeria. When the model is estimated with panel data on a sample of MENA and transition countries for 1995–2005, the results suggest that lower growth in labor productivity in Algeria is associated with higher unemployment than the sample average, though recent positive terms of trade shocks have helped Algeria reduce the differential. Labor market rigidities and labor taxation do not seem to explain why unemployment is higher in Algeria than in other countries. The results are robust to various panel econometric methods and instrumental variable estimates.
    Keywords: Unemployment;Labor market institutions;Macroeconomic shocks
    Date: 2011–01–18
  8. By: Marie-Ange Veganzones (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - CNRS : UMR6587 - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I); Ahmet Faruk Aysan (Department of Economics - Bogazici University); Zeynep Ersoy (Department of Economics - Bogazici University)
    Abstract: By using a simultaneous equations model, this paper establishes that the perceived quality of governance, which is measured by three different indicators “Quality of Administration”, “Public Accountability” and “Political Stability”, has a positive effect on the private investment decisions in the developing countries. Our model allows us to point out the fact that the mechanisms through which each type of indicator affects private investment are different. In addition to our primary result we also show that Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region could have attained a better private investment performance if it had reached a more advanced level of perceived institutions in last two decades. The low level of public accountability, among other governance deficiencies, was predominantly responsible for the deficiency in private investment in MENA.
    Keywords: cerdi
    Date: 2011–01–18
  9. By: Hevia, Constantino; Loayza, Norman
    Abstract: This study illustrates the mechanisms linking national saving and economic growth, with the purpose of understanding the possibilities and limits of a saving-based growth agenda in the context of the Egyptian economy. This is done through a simple theoretical model, calibrated to fit the Egyptian economy, and simulated to explore different potential scenarios. The main conclusion is that if the Egyptian economy does not experience progress in productivity -- stemming from technological innovation, improved public management, and private-sector reforms -- then a high rate of economic growth is not feasible at current rates of national saving and would require a saving effort that is highly unrealistic. For instance, financing a constant 4 percent growth rate of gross domestic product per capita with no improvement in total factor productivity would require a national saving rate of around 50 percent in the first decade and 80 percent in 25 years. However, if productivity rises, sustaining and improving high rates of economic growth becomes viable. Following the previous example, a 2 percent growth rate of total factor productivity would allow a 4 percent growth rate of gross domestic product per capita with national saving rate in the realistic range of 20-25 percent of gross domestic product.
    Keywords: Economic Growth,Access to Finance,Economic Theory&Research,Emerging Markets,Achieving Shared Growth
    Date: 2011–01–01
  10. By: Bayraci, Selcuk; UNAL, GAZANFER
    Abstract: We proposed a continuous time ARMA known as CARMA(p,q) model for modeling the interest rate dynamics. CARMA(p,q) models have an advantage over their discrete time counterparts that they allow using Ito formulas and provide closed-form solutions for bond and bond option prices. We demonstrate the capabilities of CARMA(p,q) models by using Turkish short rate. The Turkish Republic Central Bank’s benchmark bond prices are used to calculate short-term interest rates between the period of 15.07.2006 and 15.07.2008. ARMA(1,1) model and CARMA(1,0) model are chosen as best suitable models in modeling the Turkish short rate.
    Keywords: Interest rate modeling; Continuous-time ARMA (CARMA)process; Lévy process
    JEL: C51 C01
    Date: 2010–11–15
  11. By: Sally Khalifa Isaac Atwan
    Abstract: This paper tackles the question of intercultural dialogue in the framework of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership. It focuses mainly on a fundamental point in the now persistent intercultural swing that the Euro-Mediterranean relations have been recently experiencing: that is the opportunities and challenges for an effective intercultural dialogue that could lead to a spill-over effect in this partnership. In this analysis, several sub-topics and questions are clearly brought into focus, among these are: how do security considerations necessitate a vigorous intercultural dialogue in the region?; how do the two sides of the Mediterranean perceive each other?; Is there a shared perception on main concepts, such as security and intercultural dialogue?; how is the recent debate over the rising importance of cultural factors is mainly derived out of security concerns?; in the same venue, to what extent has the intercultural dialogue has worked as a security building measure?; what are the dialogue strategies that are actually in operation to bridge the gap between the two sides of the Mediterranean region?; to what extent are those strategies responding to the need of an effective cultural dialogue?; and finally, what are the opportunities and challenges that exist in the international and regional context that could enable\hinder the two sides of the Mediterranean to deal with cultural issues effectively. These questions are tackled by first analyzing how an effective intercultural dialogue is becoming more and more a necessity in the framework of the EMP, deriving its importance mainly as a security and stability requirement. Then, the analysis brings into focus the experience of intercultural dialogue and its various mechanisms seeking the assessment of their effectiveness and impact. Finally, the paper attempts to investigate into the existing opportunities and challenges that could enable and hinder the two sides of the Mediterranean to deal with cultural issues effectively.
    Keywords: Mediterranean
    Date: 2010–10–15
  12. By: Tidiane Kinda (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - CNRS : UMR6587 - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I); Patrick Plane (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - CNRS : UMR6587 - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I); Marie-Ange Veganzones (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - CNRS : UMR6587 - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the relationship between firm-level productivity and investment climate (IC) for a large number of countries (23) and manufacturing industries (8). We first propose three measures of firms' productive performances: Labor Productivity (LP), Total Factor Productivity (TFP), and Technical Efficiency (TE). We reveal that enterprises in MENA perform in average poorly, compared to other countries of the sample. The exception is Morocco, whose various measures of firm-level productivity rank close to the ones of the most productive countries. We show at the same time that firms' competitiveness in MENA is handicapped by high Unit Labor Cost, compared to main competitors like China and India. The empirical analysis also reveals that the investment climate matters for firms productive performances. This is true (depending on the industry) for the quality of a large set of infrastructures, the experience and level of education of the labor force, the cost and access to financing, as well as to a lower extent, different dimensions of the government-business relation. These findings bear important policy implication by showing which dimension of the investment climate could help manufacturing firms in MENA to be more competitive on the world market.
    Keywords: cerdi
    Date: 2011–01–17
  13. By: Sarah Shields
    Abstract: This paper argues that Europeans worked to transform the bases for group affiliation in territories of the former Ottoman Empire, insisting on national and linguistic self-identification that created dissonance among the population. Focusing on the decades between the two World Wars, when the new Middle Eastern borders were being created and contested, the paper analyzes two episodes in which the League of Nations sought to document the identity of Middle Eastern populations in order to allocate contested territory: the Sanjak Question (Alexandretta) and the Mosul Question. Each province was home to a population diverse in language and religion; in each, the League of Nations intervened to insist that one or another group must be predominant. Instead of creating a consociational or federal system, each episode resulted in one group satisfied and the other group becoming a minority. The sorts of identities which the League of Nations privileged had little meaning before mid-century, when the new governments they created began to adhere to ideologies that reified nation and exploited the new fault lines for their own political benefit.
    Keywords: France; minorities
    Date: 2010–10–15
  14. By: Kangni Kpodar (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - CNRS : UMR6587 - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I); Boileau Loko (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - CNRS : UMR6587 - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I); Oumar Diallo (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - CNRS : UMR6587 - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I)
    Abstract: The Government of Algeria has pursed a relatively expansionary fiscal policy in recent years, thanks to rising oil prices and revenues. The paper explores the potential effects of such a stance on real exchange rate and uncovers a relatively small appreciating effect of increased government capital expenditure. This is explained by the fact that a significant share of capital spending falls into tradable imported goods. However, the envisaged increase in capital spending, if well designed and implemented, might in the long-run translate into rising operations and maintenance expenditure—mostly nontradable goods—thereby causing a higher real appreciation. This implies that Algeria should carefully consider the implications of its public investment program on recurrent expenditure.
    Keywords: Government capital expenditure;real exchange rate;oil
    Date: 2011–01–18
  15. By: Muller, Christophe; Bibi, Sami
    Abstract: This paper introduces a new methodology to target direct transfers against poverty. Our method is based on estimation methods that focus on the poor. Using data from Tunisia, we estimate ‘focused’ transfer schemes that highly improve anti-poverty targeting performances. Post-transfer poverty can be substantially reduced with the new estimation method. In terms of P2, the most popular axiomatically valid poverty indicator, moving from 1.30, the level reached under subsidies, to 0.36, the level reached with the best OLS method, costs about 2.9 percent of GDP. An additional reduction down to 0.25, that is another 30 percent reduction in poverty, requires only a few hours of statistician work. Finally, the obtained levels of under-coverage of the poor is so low that ‘proxy-means’ focused transfer schemes becomes a realistic alternative to price subsidies, likely to avoid social unrest.
    Keywords: Transfers; Poverty; Targeting;
    JEL: D12 D63 H53 I32 I38
    Date: 2010
  16. By: Rahmouni, Mohieddine
    Abstract: In spite of the considerable effort of the works focused on the identification of conditions and factors favourable to innovation in developing countries, very few contributions concern the analysis of the obstacles impeding or slowing the process of innovation and factors affecting their perceptions. But, the innovation behaviour of firms can be affected by their assessment of barriers and difficulties encountered in the innovation process. This work is dedicated to the analysis of the perceived barriers to innovation activities in Tunisian firms, using the innovation survey developed by the Ministry of Scientific Research, Technology and Competency Development (MSRTDC) in 2005. It advocates a systemic approach to innovation policies which take into account established complementarities. We show that the perception of barriers to innovation is less pronounced for foreign firms and more important for exporters who face competitive pressures, leading to a high perception of barriers related to lack of information technology and lack of qualified personnel. To overcome the barriers to innovation related to excessive economic risks, high costs of innovation or lack of appropriate funding sources, our results suggest an important role of public participation and the foreign capital. Lack of financial resources is also one of the main barriers.
    Keywords: Innovation; obstacles; développement
    JEL: O1 O3
    Date: 2011–01–19
  17. By: Julien Gourdon (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - CNRS : UMR6587 - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I)
    Abstract: De 1980 à 2002, l'industrie française a perdu 1 500 000 emplois. La croissance des importations en provenance des pays émergents dans les secteurs ayant perdu le plus d'emplois suggère que les délocalisations et le commerce avec ces pays pourraient en être responsables. Dans le même temps, la France a fortement développé ses liens avec les pays émergents. En 2000, 10 % des investissements directs étrangers français étaient à destination de ces pays, qui représentent 16 % des importations de biens manufacturés et 19 % des exportations. La Turquie a bénéficié de ce phénomène d'ouverture vers les pays émergents et contribue à 0,8 % des importations françaises de biens industriels, tout en recevant 0,4 % des investissements français à l'étranger. L'ampleur et la nocivité des délocalisations font l'objet de débats. Pour certains, les délocalisations sont peu importantes et les pertes d'emplois industriels dues à des mécanismes normaux de gains de productivité et de spécialisation. Pour d'autres, elles sont un facteur majeur de pertes d'emplois. L'analyse présentée ici portera plutôt sur le secteur industriel que sur celui des services.
    Keywords: cerdi ; Turquie
    Date: 2011–01–18
  18. By: Zangeneh, Hamid
    Abstract: در سال گذشته مجلس شورای اسلامی با موافقت شورای نگهبان و ریاست جمهوری قانونی برای حذف یارانه ها به کالاهای مصرفی (بنزین ، گازوئيل، گاز، برق، آب، آرد، برنج، شير، شکر، روغن خوراکی، حمل و نقل هوائی و زمينی، و پست) تصویب و امسال به اجرا گذاشت. در این نوشته سعی خواهم کرد که منافع و معایب و پی آمدهای احتمالی آن را نشان دهم. در این نوشته سعی خواهم کرد که از بحث ليبرالی و نئو ليبرالی و چگونگی خصوصی سازی بر مبنای اصل ۴۴ قانون اساسی خودداری کنم و بحث امروز ما تحليلی است بر حذف یارانه های مستقيم به کالا های پایه ای و جایگزین کردن آن ها با یارانه های نقدی به شهروندان که برای جبران تورم پيش بينی شده است.
    Keywords: Iran; Subsidies; Iranian Economy; Inflationary expectation
    JEL: H2 E6
    Date: 2011–01–05
  19. By: Jean-François Brun (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - CNRS : UMR6587 - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I); Gérard Chambas (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - CNRS : UMR6587 - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I); Martial Laurent (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - CNRS : UMR6587 - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I)
    Abstract: L'objet de cet article est de mettre en évidence le rôle crucial dans les réformes des facteurs d'économie politique très souvent négligés dans les pays en développement mais qui, ces dernières années, ont constitué un obstacle très important aux réformes de transition fiscale. Les auteurs ont considéré le cas du Maroc. Dans ce pays, les autorités utilisent de nombreux instruments pour agir sur des facteurs d'économie politique et créer un climat favorable à un programme ambitieux de réforme fiscale. Des constats de cette analyse peuvent certainement être tirées des leçons utiles pour les nombreux pays en développement s'engageant dans des réformes similaires.
    Keywords: cerdi
    Date: 2011–01–18

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