nep-ara New Economics Papers
on Arab World
Issue of 2012‒09‒30
six papers chosen by
Quentin Wodon
World Bank

  1. How Different Are the Wage Curves for Formal and Informal Workers? Evidence from Turkey By Baltagi, Badi H.; Baskaya, Yusuf Soner; Hulagu, Timur
  2. .Successful. Development Models in the MENA Region By Drine, Imed
  3. Scenarios for the Agricultural Sector in South and East Mediterranean Countries by 2030 By Saad Belghazi
  4. Out-of-Pocket Health Care Expenditure in Turkey: Analysis of the Household Budget Surveys 2002-2008 By Dilek Basar; Sarah Brown; Arne Risa Hole
  5. Cross-Mediterranean economic and political relationships must be rebalanced to include all of Europe. By Zachmann, Georg; Tam, Mimi; Granelli, Lucia
  6. An Estimate for the Real Foreign Exchange Rate in Iran By Naghshineh-Pour, Amir

  1. By: Baltagi, Badi H. (Syracuse University); Baskaya, Yusuf Soner (Central Bank of Turkey); Hulagu, Timur (Central Bank of Turkey)
    Abstract: This paper presents wage curves for formal and informal workers using a rich individual level data for Turkey over the period 2005-2009. The wage curve is an empirical regularity describing a negative relationship between regional unemployment rates and individuals' real wages. While this relationship has been well documented for a number of countries including Turkey, less attention has focused on how this relationship differs for informal versus formal employment. This is of utmost importance for less developed countries where informal employment plays a significant role in the economy. Using the Turkish Household Labor Force Survey observed over 26 NUTS-2 regions, we find that real hourly wages of informal workers in Turkey are more sensitive to variations in regional unemployment rates than wages of formal workers. This is true for all workers as well as for different gender and age groups.
    Keywords: formal/informal employment, wage curve, regional labor markets
    JEL: C26 J30 J60 O17
    Date: 2012–09
  2. By: Drine, Imed
    Abstract: This paper provides a synthesis of the country cases in the Middle East and North Africa: Oman, Bahrain, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates. Although these countries differ in terms of resource endowments and economic evolution, they share common aspec
    Keywords: MENA region, development policy, governance
    Date: 2012
  3. By: Saad Belghazi
    Abstract: The paper builds predictive scenarios for the agricultural sector of eleven Mediterranean countries (Med 11), namely Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia and Turkey. First, it assesses the performance trends of the Med 11 agricultural sector with a focus on production, consumption and trade patterns, incentives, trade protection policies and trade relations with the EU and productivity dynamics and their determinants. Secondly, it presents four scenarios based on the main value chains of the agriculture sector of Med 11: animal products, fruits and vegetables, sugar and edible oil, cereals and fish and other sea products. The four scenarios are: business as usual, Mediterranean One global Player, the Euro Mediterranean Area under threat and the EU and Med 11 as Regional Player.
    Keywords: Agriculture, Prospective, East and South Mediterranean, Agricultural Trade and Incentives Policy, Growth, Productivity, Structural change
    JEL: Q11 Q17 Q18 C53
    Date: 2012
  4. By: Dilek Basar (Department of Economics, Hacettepe University); Sarah Brown (Department of Economics, The University of Sheffield); Arne Risa Hole (Department of Economics, The University of Sheffield)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the prevalence of ‘catastrophic’ out-of-pocket health expenditure in Turkey and identifies the factors which are associated with its risk using the Turkish Household Budget Surveys from 2002 to 2008. A sample selection approach based on Sartori (2003) is adopted to allow for the potential selection problem which may arise if poor households choose not to seek health care due to concerns regarding its affordability. The results suggest that poor households are less likely to seek health care as compared to non-poor households and that a negative relationship between poverty and experiencing catastrophic health expenditure remains even after allowing for such selection bias. Our findings, which may assist policy-makers concerned with health care system reforms, also highlight factors such as insurance coverage, which may protect households from the risk of incurring catastrophic health expenditure.
    Keywords: catastrophic health expenditure; health care financing; sample Selection
    JEL: I10 C25
    Date: 2012
  5. By: Zachmann, Georg; Tam, Mimi; Granelli, Lucia
    Abstract: In the wake of the Arab Spring the European Union (EU) is eager to foster closer relations with North Africa and the Middle East. Georg Zachmann,Mimi Tam and Lucia Granelli look at the EU’s current policy initiatives and assess which measures countries should undertake to help the economies of the Southern Mediterranean.
    Date: 2012–06–20
  6. By: Naghshineh-Pour, Amir
    Abstract: An examination and close observation of currency exchange fluctuations in Iran reveals that over the years, problems and crises have occurred in connection with the exchange rate, which have brought about complications in the country’s currency exchange market and hence the economy. Such problems and crises continue to exist today. The developments of the currency exchange crisis during the last few months provide clear proof for such contention. Up until the late 90's, currency exchange restrictions and deficits in the balance of payments mainly due to low oil prices laid the ground for surges in foreign exchange rates in the free market. In the year 2000, owing to the improved situation of the foreign exchange market as a result of economic stability due increases in oil prices, the unified exchange rate policy was re-implemented after many years of a multi-rate regime. Over the past decade until Spring 2011, Iran’s Central Bank, which channels more than 90 percent of hard currency into the local market, had employed a “managed float system” to support a single rate against hard currencies, whereby the Central Bank managed the market and pegged the rates to the target rates by relying upon its foreign currency reserves and buying and selling foreign currency in the free market. In the 2000's, after the adoption of this policy, the official exchange rates (the foreign currency sold by the government in the interbank market) and the free market rates (e.g. at currency exchanges) were unified in practice and the slight difference between these two rates reflected the profit margin for the traders of foreign currencies in the free market. Around mid-March 2011, however, due to the pressures caused by rising inflationary expectations created by considerable surges in the amount of liquidity, the targeted subsidy plan and growing international pressures on Iran because of its nuclear program, the tendency to arbitrage in the foreign currency market escalated and for the first time in 10 years, it led to a significant gap between the official interbank exchange rate and the free mark rate, creating polarity in the foreign exchange market. Today, the gap has widened more than a whopping amount of 1,000 tomans per dollar. It should be noted that reviewing the developments of the foreign currency exchange rate over the years shows that many times, there has always coexisted a free market rate along with the official rate announced by the Central Bank. Hence, since a long time ago, the multi-currency regime has always dominated the country’s economy and it is not limited only to the recent years or even months. This further points to the fact that even in those years, the market suffered from instability. In addition to the developments related to the exchange rate, examining the trend of foreign exchange revenues indicate the fact that in spite of huge foreign exchange revenues mainly from oil exports, the Iranian economy has not witnessed any significant improvement in its economic indicators such as GDP growth. Therefore, not having enough economic growth in proportion to the amount of liquidity injected by the government in the economy, inflationary expectations have grown significantly and; therefore, stray capital has been trying to find refuge in other safe assets such as gold and foreign currency in order to safeguard its value. This is the main cause of surges in foreign currency rates in the past 17 months.
    Keywords: Iran; economy; foreign exchange rate; dollar; rial; toman;exchange rate; real exchange rate
    JEL: A1 E50 E00 E40 G01
    Date: 2012–09–17

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