nep-ara New Economics Papers
on Arab World
Issue of 2013‒03‒30
seven papers chosen by
Quentin Wodon
World Bank

  1. Economic Development, Trade and Investment in the Eastern and Southern Mediterranean Region By Marek Dabrowski; Luc DeWulf
  2. The Relationship Between Energy and Socio-Economic Development in the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean By Emanuel Bergasse; Wojciech Paczyñski; Marek D¹browski; Luc De Wulf
  3. Seigniorage Revenue and Inflation Tax in Turkish economy By doğru, bülent
  4. Monetary systems, sustainable growth and inclusive economic development By Omerčević, Edo
  5. Taxation of agricultural sector in Morocco. An Analysis using a Dynamic Computable General Equilibrium Model By Karim, Mohamed
  6. The Black Swan of the Golden Periphery: The Ottoman Empire during the Classical Gold Standard Era By Ali Coskun Tunçer
  7. The Dynamics of Lobbying under Uncertainty: On Political Liberalization in Arab Countries By Raouf Boucekkine; Fabien Prieur; Klarizze Puzon

  1. By: Marek Dabrowski; Luc DeWulf
    Abstract: Despite its many advantages, the Eastern and Southern Mediterranean region remains relatively backward in economic and social terms and is rightly considered a potential source of social and political instability. Its average GDP per capita lags behind the global average and is increasing slowly due to weak economic policies, poor governance and rapid population growth. The region suffers from high unemployment (especially among women and youth), poor education, high levels of income inequality, gender discrimination, underdeveloped infrastructure, continuous trade protectionism, and a poor business climate. To overcome these development obstacles, MED countries should conduct comprehensive reforms of their economic, social and political systems with the aim of ensuring macroeconomic stability, increasing trade and investment openness, improving the business climate and governance system, and upgrading infrastructure and human capital. The main economic and political partners of the MED countries, especially the EU, can actively support this modernization agenda through liberalizing trade in some sensitive sectors (like agriculture and services), adopting a more flexible approach to MED labor migration, and cooperating in mitigating climate changes, improving educational outcomes, and promoting science and culture. This will require renewed initiatives with dedicated technical assistance and continued and enhanced financial assistance, particularly to improve infrastructure. There is also a lot of room for improvement in intra-MED cooperation but this requires resolving the protracted political conflicts in the region and taking bolder steps to remove trade and investment barriers.
    Keywords: Southern and Eastern Mediterranean, Middle East and North Africa, economic growth, trade liberalization, FDI, private sector development, business climate, privatization, unemployment, inequality
    JEL: F15 O53 O55
    Date: 2013–01
  2. By: Emanuel Bergasse; Wojciech Paczyñski; Marek D¹browski; Luc De Wulf
    Abstract: This report aims to identify, explain and detail the links and interactions in southern and eastern Mediterranean countries (SEMCs) between energy supply and demand and socio-economic development, as well as the potential role of energy supply and demand policies on both. Another related aim is to identify and analyse, in a quantitative and qualitative way, the changing role of energy (both demand and supply) in southern Mediterranean economies, focusing on its positive and negative impact on socio-economic development. This report investigates in particular: ? The most important channels through which resource wealth can contribute to or hamper economic and social development in the analysed region; ? Mechanisms and channels of relations between energy supply and demand policies and economic and social development. The burdens of energy subsidies and ‘oil syndrome’ are of particular relevance for the region. An integrated socio-economic development and energy policy scenario approach showing the potential benefits and synergies within countries and the region is developed in the final part of the report.
    Keywords: Southern Mediterranean Countries (SEMCs), Socio-Economic Development, Energy Demand, Energy Efficiency, Energy Prices, Energy Subsidies, Resource Curse, Dutch Disease, Oil Syndrome, Energy Policy, Socio-Economic Development Strategy, Targeted Subsidies, Integrated Energy Strategy, Energy Efficiency Action Plans, Renewable Energy Action Plans, Climate Policy, Regional Mediterranean Energy Cooperation, Arab Spring
    JEL: A10
    Date: 2013–03
  3. By: doğru, bülent
    Abstract: The goal of this study is to test the implication of optimal seigniorage theory that in the long run higher tax rates are associated with higher inflation rates and higher nominal interest rates. For this purpose, we examine the long run relationship between nominal interest rates, inflation and tax revenue using time series dataset for Turkish Economy for the period 1980-2011. We estimate the Mankiw’s (1987) optimal seigniorage model for Turkish Economy with the cointegration and vector error correction methods (VECM). According to econometric result, in long run there is a causality relationship from inflation and tax revenue to nominal interest rates. However, in short run we could not find any evidence that support a causality from inflation and tax revenue to nominal interest rates.
    Keywords: Seigniorage, Inflation Tax, Turkish Economy, Error Correction Model, Cointegration Analysis.
    JEL: E40 E60 E62
    Date: 2013–03–03
  4. By: Omerčević, Edo
    Abstract: The main objective of this study is to review the literature on monetary issues and discuss how money and monetary systems contribute to the achievement of sustainable growth and inclusive economic development. The paper is based on an extensive review of literature that deals with monetary issues with the objective of building a case that the achievement of sustainable growth and inclusive economic development requires the right monetary system to be put in place which supports those objectives. The review of literature and theoretical reasoning assert that in order to achieve the stated economic objectives there is a need to develop and implement a different concept of money than the existing one. This study shows that the current monetary system does not provide a platform to achieve the desired economic objectives, irrespective of whether conventional or Islamic banking is the major banking and financial services provider. Theoretical models are outlined which can provide the foundation for healthy economic environment for sustainable growth and development. This including the discussion on a return to metallic moneys in form of the Islamic Gold Dinar system, a fiat monetary system based on the concept of Free-Money and a monetary model which is built on a commodity-based information system that can be easily implemented using today’s existing information and communication technology.
    Keywords: Economic growth, economic development, monetary systems
    JEL: E40 E42
    Date: 2013–01–29
  5. By: Karim, Mohamed
    Abstract: The agricultural sector has always been the subject of a great attention from officials in Morocco as it is a sector that maintains exchange relations with the other sectors and a production sector of the most important Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) in the rural and urban areas. Indeed, agriculture accounts for 15 to 20% of the GDP and 44% of total employment. If one adds food processing, its contribution to the GDP and employment passes respectively to 20 and 50%. However, Moroccan agriculture suffers from low productivity, low yields and high logistics costs, in particular in transport, lack of integration between production and market, insufficient development of post-harvest systems, high costs of production, high risks, low coordination within chains, inadequate post-harvest technologies, lack of quality assurance system, and limited expertise in the processing of the agricultural products. For these reasons, agriculture has benefited from huge tax exemptions extended until the end of 2013.The exemption of the sector is supposed to promote, attract and develop private investments in this sector. Effectively, for the past two years, the agricultural sector was the second sector, after the property, having benefited from tax derogations, which represents about 13.4% of total measures identified in 2011. However, it is admitted that these tax advantages are a source of distortions and inefficient allocation of investments and resources towards this sector. The optimal tax theory provides, for this purpose, lessons that are useful for our empirical study.¶ Today, and besides the question concerning the place of the Moroccan agriculture in the economy which led to the design and implementation of the Green Morocco Plan (GMP), it should be noted that the question of its taxation was not as much in the central concerns as evidenced by the Royal orientations to establish an appropriate system to the agricultural sector in 2014 by taking into consideration the social security of the small-holder farmers. The model used is a dynamic multi-sector general equilibrium model. It registered voter in the line of the models built by Shoven and Whalley (1970) like Decaluwé and Savard (2001). Three agents, namely explicitly there the consumers, the producers and the public authorities, are introduced. However, to take into account the foreign trade and more generally the degree of opening of the Moroccan economy, we add a fourth agent to it: the rest of the world.
    Keywords: Taxation; Agricultural sector; Computable General Equilibrium Model
    JEL: D58 H21 Q18
    Date: 2013–04–01
  6. By: Ali Coskun Tunçer (London School of Economics, Department of Economic History)
    Abstract: This study analyses the functioning of the “gold standard” in the Ottoman Empire during the pre-1914 gold standard era, with specific emphasis on the institutions regulating commodity money and fiat money. It explores the extent to which the Ottoman monetary system was an outlier with reference to the experiences of other peripheral countries. One of the findings reveals considerably limited circulation of notes in the Ottoman Empire even after adherence to the gold standard in 1880. By highlighting the anomalies of the Ottoman case, this paper concludes that the transition from commodity money to fiat money did not take place at the same rate across peripheries during the pre-1914 gold standard era. These differences may be explained by the relative autonomy of the central banks of issue from governments, and in turn may have implied changing degrees of monetary sovereignty and fiscal capacity across the members of the golden periphery.
    Keywords: gold standard, monetary sovereignty, Ottoman Empire, fiat money
    JEL: N13 N23 N43
    Date: 2013–03–16
  7. By: Raouf Boucekkine (Aix-Marseille University (Aix-Marseille School of Economics, CNRS & EHESS, IRES and CORE, Université Catholique de Louvain.); Fabien Prieur (LAMETA, Université Montpellier I and INRA); Klarizze Puzon (LAMETA, Universite Montpellier I.)
    Abstract: We consider a framework à la Wirl (1994) where political liberalization is the outcome of a lobbying differential game between a conservative elite and a reformist group, the former player pushing against political liberalization in opposition to the latter. In contrast to the benchmark model, we introduce uncertainty. We consider the typical case of an Arab oil exporter country where oil rents are fiercely controlled by the conservative elite. We assume that the higher the oil rents, the more reluctant to political liberalization the elite is. Two states of nature are considered (high vs low resource rents). We then compute the Market-perfect equilibria of the corresponding piecewise deterministic differential game. It is shown that introducing uncertainty in this manner increases the set of strategies compared to Wirl's original setting. In particular, it is shown that the cost of lobbying might be significantly increased under uncertainty with respect to the benchmark. This ultimately highlights some specificities of the political liberalization at stake in Arab countries and the associated risks.
    Keywords: Rent-seeking, lobbying, natural resources, Arab countries, piecewise deterministic differential games
    JEL: D72 C61 C73
    Date: 2013–03–15

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