nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2013‒10‒25
eight papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
University of Ottawa

  1. The Glass Ceiling: Structural, Cultural and Organizational Career Barriers for French and Turkish Women Executives By Cansu Akpinar-Sposito
  2. On the Road to Heaven: Self-Selection, Religion, and Socio-Economic Status By Saleh, Mohamed
  3. Transforming Arab Economies : The Knowledge and Innovation Road By Anuja Utz; Jean-Eric Aubert
  4. The Middle East and North Africa Community of Practice on Employment and Social Safety Nets By Diego F. Angel-Urdinalo; Ines Rodriguez Caillava; Amina Semlali
  5. Experiential Tourism in Palestinian Rural Communities : 'Abraham's Path' By Ali H. Abukumail
  6. Supporting Innovation in SMEs in Lebanon through a Public/Private Equity Fund : The iSME Fund By Randa Akeel
  7. Islamic finance and financial inclusion: measuring use of and demand for formal financial services among Muslim adults By Demirguc-Kunt, Asli; Klapper, Leora; Randall, Douglas
  8. Vieillissement démographique, longévité et épargne. Le cas du Maroc By Loumrhari, Ghizlan

  1. By: Cansu Akpinar-Sposito (Centre de Recherche Magellan - Université Jean Moulin - Lyon III : EA3713)
    Abstract: Abstract: This study is particularly focused on the glass ceiling issues and the main career obstacles for female executives based on the findings of a cross-country comparative study between Turkey and France. Prior to collecting the required data, a review was carried out in both countries, the current available and attitudinal studies related to the concept of the 'glass ceiling'. A comparative descriptive analysis was conducted to show differences in career barriers for women between countries. The field study of this project generated 20 semi-structured interviews with 12 main questions concerning their career background and the glass ceiling syndrome with staff from 12 international companies in both France and Turkey. Interviews lasted approximately for one hour and were conducted in French, Turkish and English. After successively analyzing all the transcripts of the interviews, three ideological approaches have been identified from the field study. The three main topics that were mentioned by the women interviewed in both countries were personal Compromises, Career Encouragers, and Corporate Culture. These findings indicated that there were several similar approaches to helping the career advancement of women in both countries and also different approaches which are unique to each country involved in the study.
    Keywords: Career barriers, glass ceiling, women in management, Turkey, France.
    Date: 2013–11–20
  2. By: Saleh, Mohamed
    Abstract: The correlation between religion and socioeconomic status is observed throughout the world. In the Middle East, local non-Muslims are, on average, better off than the Muslim majority. I trace the origins of the phenomenon in Egypt to a historical process of self-selection across religions, which was induced by an economic incentive: the imposition of the poll tax on non-Muslims upon the Islamic Conquest of the then-Coptic Christian Egypt in 640. The tax, which remained until 1856, led to the conversion of poor Copts to Islam to avoid paying the tax, and to the shrinking of Copts to a better off minority. Using a sample of men of rural origin from the 1848- 68 census manuscripts, I find that districts with historically stricter poll tax enforcement (measured by Arab immigration to Egypt in 640-900), and/or lower attachment to Coptic Christianity before 640 (measured by the legendary route of the Holy Family), have fewer, yet better off, Copts in 1848-68. Combining historical narratives with a dataset on occupations and religion in 640-1517 from the Arabic Papyrology Database, and a dataset on Coptic churches and monasteries in 1200 and 1500 from medieval sources, I demonstrate that the cross-district findingsreflect the persistence of the Copts’ initial occupationalshift, towards white-collar jobs, and spatial shift, towards the Nile Valley. Both shifts occurred in 640-900, where most conversions to Islam took place, and where the poll tax burden peaked. Occupational barriers to entry and the religiously segregated schools both led occupations to persist in 900-1848.
    Keywords: Religion; poll tax; persistence; conversion; Middle East
    JEL: N35 O15
    Date: 2013–08
  3. By: Anuja Utz; Jean-Eric Aubert
    Keywords: Agricultural Knowledge and Information Systems Information and Communication Technologies - ICT Policy and Strategies Private Sector Development - E-Business Education - Knowledge for Development Macroeconomics and Economic Growth - Knowledge Economy Agriculture
    Date: 2013–02
  4. By: Diego F. Angel-Urdinalo; Ines Rodriguez Caillava; Amina Semlali
    Keywords: Information and Communication Technologies - ICT Policy and Strategies Technology Industry Education - Knowledge for Development Macroeconomics and Economic Growth - Regional Economic Development Macroeconomics and Economic Growth - Knowledge Economy Industry
    Date: 2013–03
  5. By: Ali H. Abukumail
    Keywords: Accommodation and Tourism Industry Housing and Human Habitats Poverty Reduction - Rural Poverty Reduction Environment - Tourism and Ecotourism Quality of Life and Leisure Communities and Human Settlements Social Development Industry
    Date: 2013–02
  6. By: Randa Akeel
    Keywords: Macroeconomics and Economic Growth - Investment and Investment Climate Finance and Financial Sector Development - Microfinance Finance and Financial Sector Development - Debt Markets Private Sector Development - Emerging Markets Finance and Financial Sector Development - Access to Finance
    Date: 2013–02
  7. By: Demirguc-Kunt, Asli; Klapper, Leora; Randall, Douglas
    Abstract: In recent years, the Islamic finance industry has attracted the attention of policy makers and international donors as a possible channel through which to expand financial inclusion, particularly among Muslim adults. Yet cross-country, demand-side data on actual usage and preference gaps in financial services between Muslims and non-Muslims have been scarce. This paper uses novel data to explore the use of and demand for formal financial services among self-identified Muslim adults. In a sample of more than 65,000 adults from 64 economies (excluding countries where less than 1 percent or more than 99 percent of the sample self-identified as Muslim), the analysis finds that Muslims are significantly less likely than non-Muslims to own a formal account or save at a formal financial institution after controlling for other individual- and country-level characteristics. But the analysis finds no evidence that Muslims are less likely than non-Muslims to report formal or informal borrowing. Finally, in an extended survey of adults in five North African and Middle Eastern countries with relatively nascent Islamic finance industries, the study finds little use of Sharia-compliant banking products, although it does find evidence of a hypothetical preference for Sharia-compliant products among a plurality of respondents despite higher costs.
    Keywords: Access to Finance,Banks&Banking Reform,Islamic Finance,Debt Markets,Emerging Markets
    Date: 2013–10–01
  8. By: Loumrhari, Ghizlan
    Abstract: In this paper we investigate empirically the relationship between population aging begins in Morocco and private savings. To do this, we use an overlapping generations model (OLG) and annual data from 1980 to 2010. Econometric estimates show that if the increase in the dependency ratio negatively affects the growth rate of savings, as predicted by the lifecycle theory, longevity to the contrary tends to stimulate the same savings. However, it seems that the first effect outweighs the second. Economic policies to promote private savings and incentives for households to have more children are needed to meet the challenge of severe aging population which will face Morocco in the coming decades.
    Keywords: Population aging, private saving, OLG model
    JEL: C13 E21 J11
    Date: 2013–09

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