nep-ara New Economics Papers
on Arab World
Issue of 2011‒03‒12
four papers chosen by
Quentin Wodon
World Bank

  1. Trade integration as a way forward for the Arab world : a regional agenda By Chauffour, Jean-Pierre
  2. Chronic diseases and labor market outcomes in Egypt By Rocco, Lorenzo; Tanabe, Kimie; Suhrcke, Marc; Fumagalli, Elena
  3. Behavioural Factors as Emerging Main Determinants of Child Mortality in Middle-Income Countries: A Case Study of Jordan By Cornelia Kaldewei; Ingo Pitterle
  4. Petroleum subsidies in Yemen : leveraging reform for development By Breisinger, Clemens; Engelke, Wilfried; Ecker, Olivier

  1. By: Chauffour, Jean-Pierre
    Abstract: The current political turmoil for more open and participative societies in many Arab countries coupled with the emergence of new growth poles around the world could create the conditions for a big push toward greater regional and global trade integration of the Arab world. Further integrating Arab countries among themselves and opening up the region to the rest of the world are two complementary avenues to improve market access, promote behind-the-border regulatory reforms, facilitate cooperation on regional public goods, foster the emergence of an"Arab factory"through regional supply chains and productions networks, and eventually create the conditions for more and better paid jobs for the growing Arab workforce. A more ambitious trade agenda in the context of the Pan-Arab Free Trade Area would be a good place to start. Although difficult and challenging, and requiring a good dosage of flexibility and variable geometry, such an agenda would consist of (1) completing the free movement of goods within the Pan-Arab Free Trade Area, notably through the elimination of unnecessary non-tariff barriers; (2) implementing a regional initiative to liberalize services trade, including identifying a number of pilot service sectors for early regional liberalization; and (3) strengthening the rules and discipline applicable to regional trade and other policies of common interest.
    Keywords: Free Trade,Trade Law,Emerging Markets,Trade and Regional Integration,Trade Policy
    Date: 2011–02–01
  2. By: Rocco, Lorenzo; Tanabe, Kimie; Suhrcke, Marc; Fumagalli, Elena
    Abstract: By causing a sizeable reduction in employment 6 percent and labor supply 19 percent, chronic diseases are responsible for a major efficiency loss in the Egyptian economy. Furthermore the impact of chronic diseases on the labor market is not uniformly distributed. The older and the less educated suffer a larger drop in the probability of being employed and in their supply of working hours. The authors estimate the reduced form equations of individual employment status, labor supply and the usual wage equation. They control for unobserved ability and individual preferences by means of a within-siblings estimator. Measurement errors in our self-reported health variable have been accounted for.
    Keywords: Health Monitoring&Evaluation,Labor Markets,Disease Control&Prevention,Labor Policies,Population Policies
    Date: 2011–02–01
  3. By: Cornelia Kaldewei; Ingo Pitterle
    Abstract: This paper uses data from Jordan’s 2007 Demographic and Health Survey to reassess the main determinants of child mortality in this middle-income country. Running different logit estimations to allow for different time windows and sets of variables, we find that behavioural factors have gained importance, compared to the household and community factors that were found to be important in earlier studies. We conclude that once a country has passed a certain threshold in household income, education and access to health care and safe drinking water, policies targeting behavioural changes are the most promising for achieving further reductions in mortality rates.
    Keywords: child mortality; infant mortality; emerging determinants; behavioural factors; middle-income countries; Jordan
    JEL: I12 I18 J13 O29
    Date: 2011–02
  4. By: Breisinger, Clemens; Engelke, Wilfried; Ecker, Olivier
    Abstract: Petroleum subsidy reform is increasingly seen as an opportunity for consolidating public finances and fostering sustainable economic development. Yemen, as the country with the lowest per capita income in the group of countries with a high level of energy subsidies, started to reduce subsidies in 2010 and is discussing further options for reform. The results of this paper support a comprehensive petroleum subsidy reform in Yemen. Economic growth is projected to accelerate between 0.1 and 0.8 percentage points annually as a result of reform. Yet, the design of the reform is critically important, especially for the poor. Outcomes of alternative reform scenarios range from an increase in poverty of 2 to 6 percentage points. A promising strategy combines subsidy reduction with direct transfers of 13,800 to 19,700 Yemeni rials annually to the poorest 30 percent of households and enhanced public investments. Investments should focus on the utilities, transport, trade, and construction sectors to integrate economic spaces and create the platform for a restructuring of agricultural, industrial, and service value chains, which should encourage private sector led and job creating growth in the medium term.
    Keywords: Transport Economics Policy&Planning,Economic Theory&Research,Emerging Markets,Access to Finance,Rural Poverty Reduction
    Date: 2011–02–01

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