nep-ara New Economics Papers
on Arab World
Issue of 2012‒09‒09
five papers chosen by
Quentin Wodon
World Bank

  1. Economic Ideas of Rifa`ah al-Tahtawi By Islahi, Abdul Azim
  2. Exchange rate pass-through and inflation dynamics in Tunisia: A Markov-Switching approach By Khemiri, Rim; Ali, Mohamed Sami Ben
  3. Pipeline Power By Franz Hubert; Onur Cobanli
  4. Transport Infrastructure for MED11 Countries By Robin Carruthers
  5. Progress on the Development of an Interregional Computable General Equilibrium Model for Lebanon: The Input-Output System By Eduardo A. Haddad

  1. By: Islahi, Abdul Azim
    Abstract: The present paper studies economic ideas of an Azharite graduate of the nineteenth century Egypt - Rifā‘ah Rāfi‘ al-Tahtāwī who was influenced by the French Scholars and Philosophers, Voltaire, Rousseau, and Mantesquieu. He wrote on significance of industry, productive and unproductive labor, importance of foreign trade, competition, and equal opportunity for all. According to him justice, freedom and human brotherhood are the foundations of economic welfare. He strived for women's economic empowerment. He was not simply a follower of Western economic ideas. He added to them human norms and Islamic values. Although born in an age of laissez faire, he advocated for a role of Government in economic matters.
    Keywords: Western Banking and Riba; Nineteenth Century Muslim Economic Thinking; History of Islamic Economic Thought
    JEL: B31 H80 B00
    Date: 2012
  2. By: Khemiri, Rim; Ali, Mohamed Sami Ben
    Abstract: This paper studies the effect of exchange rate pass-through on inflation in Tunisia over the period 2001-2009. The authors' objective is to track inflation regimes for the Tunisian economy and to forecast its determinants. Using a Markov-switching approach, the authors identified two main regimes for inflation in Tunisia over this period: a low and stable inflation regime associated with a low pass-through level, and a high inflation regime associated with a high pass-through level. In order to highlight the mechanisms underlying shifts in inflation regimes, the authors used a time-varying probabilities approach and identified a set of variables to assess their effect on inflation in Tunisia. The results show that the price level decreases in response to an increase in interest rates. Along with this, the empirical results provide strong evidence that industrial production indices have a negative and significant effect in increasing the probability to stay in an inflationary regime and a high pass-through level. In addition, the results show robust supports to suggest that the imports increase the probability to stay in a high inflation regime and a high pass-through level. However, exports increase the probability to stay in a low inflation regime and a low pass-through level. --
    Keywords: Pass-through,inflation,Markov switching,economic fundamentals
    JEL: F3 F4 G15
    Date: 2012
  3. By: Franz Hubert (Humboldt–Universitat zu Berlin); Onur Cobanli (Humboldt–Universitat zu Berlin)
    Abstract: We use cooperative game theory to analyze the impact of three controversial pipeline projects on the power structure in the Eurasian trade of natural gas. Two of them, Nord Stream and South Stream, allow Russian gas to bypass transit countries, Ukraine and Belarus. Nord Stream’s strategic value turns out to be huge, justifying the high investment cost for Germany and Russia. The additional leverage obtained through South Stream, in contrast, appears small. The third project, Nabucco, aims at diversifying Europe’s gas imports by accessing producers in Middle East and Central Asia. It curtails Russia’s power, but the benefits accrue mainly to Turkey, while the gains for the EU are negligible.
    Keywords: Bargaining Power, Network, Trade links, Natural Gas
    JEL: L5 L9 O22
    Date: 2012–09
  4. By: Robin Carruthers
    Abstract: Lack of adequate infrastructure is a significant inhibitor to increased trade of the countries of the Mediterranean region. Bringing their transport infrastructure to standards comparable with countries of a similar per capita GDP will be costly but worthwhile. We compare the current quantities of six types of transport infrastructure with international, and estimate the additional quantities needed to reach the benchmarks. We also estimate the cost of that infrastructure and express it as a percentage of GDP. Finally we make tentative estimates of how much trade might be generated and how this might impact on GDP. All the estimates are made for each MED11 country and for each of four scenarios. The highest need for additional infrastructure will be for airport passenger terminals (between 52% and 56%), whereas the lowest need was for more unpaved roads (between 7% and 13%). The investment (including maintenance) cost would be between 0.9% of GDP and 2.4% of GDP, although the investments in some countries would be between 1.4% and 4.5% of GDP. The impact on non-oil international trade would be substantial, but with differences between imports and exports. The overall trade balance of the MED11 region would be an improvement of between 5.4% and 17.2%, although some countries would continue to have a negative balance. A final assessment was of the benefit ratio between the increase in GDP and the cost of transport investment. This varied between about 3 and 8, an indication of the high return to be expected from increased investment in transport infrastructure.
    Keywords: Infrastructure, Region, Investment, GDP, Trade, Benefit ratio
    JEL: F15 O18 O24 R42
    Date: 2012
  5. By: Eduardo A. Haddad
    Abstract: The main goal of this paper is to present the recent developments in the construction of an interregional input-output matrix for Lebanon (IIOM-LIBAN), in the context of an ongoing project that aims to develop an interregional computable general equilibrium (ICGE) model for the country – “The ARZ Project”. The understanding of the functioning of the Lebanese regional economies within an integrated system is one of the main goals of the ARZ Project. By exploring different methods of comparative structure analysis, it is hoped that this initial exercise will benefit from the complementarity among them, resulting in a better appreciation of the full dimensions of differences and similarities that exist among the governorates in Lebanon.
    Keywords: Interregional input-output model; Lebanon; spatial linkages
    JEL: C67 D57 R12 R15
    Date: 2012–08–10

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