nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2013‒11‒22
fourteen papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
University of Ottawa

  1. The US and Turkey in the fog of Regional Uncertainty By Kostas Ifantis
  2. Returns to Foreign Language Skills in a Developing Country: The Case of Turkey By Di Paolo, Antonio; Tansel, Aysit
  3. Male-Female Labor Market Participation and the Extent of Gender-Based Wage Discrimination in Turkey By Günalp, Burak; Cilasun, Seyit Mümin; Acar, Elif Öznur
  4. Local Governmental Accounting Reform: The Case of Turkey By S. S. ADA; J. CHRISTIAENS
  5. On the Role of Productivity and Demographic Factors for Growth : The Case of Turkey, 2004-2012 By Murat Ungor; M. Koray Kalafatcilar
  6. From Social Contract to Arab Spring: Macroeconomic Adjustment under Regime Change By Joao Ricardo Faria; Peter McAdam
  7. Contribution of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Country'S H-Index By MARYAM FARHADI; Hadi Salehi; Mohamed Amin Embi; MASOOD FOOLADI; HADI FARHADI; AREZOO AGHAEI CHADEGANI; Nader Ale Ebrahim
  8. The Impact of Formal Institutions on Knowledge Economy By Antonio R. Andrés; Asongu Simplice; Voxi S. H. Amavilah
  9. A Quest for Leading Indicators of the Turkish Unemployment Rate By H. Burcu Gurcihan; Gonul Sengul; Arzu Yavuz
  10. Institutional Environments and the Internationalization of Franchise Chains - The Contrasting Cases of Three North African Countries By Odile Chanut; Nadjoua Gharbi; Dominique Bonet Fernandez; E. Hachemi Aliouche
  11. Long Memory Processes and Structural Breaks in Stock Returns and Volatility: Evidence from the Egyptian Exchange By Ezzat, Hassan
  12. La modélisation des interactions entre les corrélations et les volatilités des marchés financiers Marocain, Français, Américain et Japonais By Chiny, Faycal
  13. Turkiye’de Konjonkturel Etkilerden Arindirilmis Cari Islemler Dengesi By Hakan Kara; Cagri Sarikaya
  14. 2008 Istihdam Tesvik Programinin Etkilerinin Incelenmesi By Binnur Balkan; Yusuf Soner Baskaya; Semih Tumen

  1. By: Kostas Ifantis
    Abstract: Security relations with the US have been critical for Turkey. Cold War strategic imperatives dictated typical bandwagoning policies, although disagreements and frictions were present at times. In the 2000s a combination of domestic developments and rapidly changing regional security patterns have resulted in a more assertive Turkish regional security policy, which for many represents a departure from traditional Kemalist principles. This paper attempts to assess the current course of Turkish regional security engagement and the extent to which relations between the USA and Turkey are subject to major change. The analytical context accounts for the impact of domestic, regional and global levels. The empirical focus is on Turkey’s involvement in the Syrian sectarian conflict and on the trajectory of the bilateral relations with Israel.
    Keywords: US-Turkish relations, Israel, Middle East, Eastern Mediterranean, regional security
    Date: 2013–08
  2. By: Di Paolo, Antonio (University of Barcelona); Tansel, Aysit (Middle East Technical University)
    Abstract: Foreign language skills represent a form of human capital that can be rewarded in the labor market. Drawing on data from the Adult Education Survey of 2007, this is the first study estimating returns to foreign language skills in Turkey. We contribute to the literature on the economic value of language knowledge, with a special focus on a country characterized by fast economic and social development. Although English is the most widely spoken foreign language in Turkey, we initially consider the economic value of different foreign languages among the employed males aged 25 to 65. We find positive and significant returns to proficiency in English and Russian, which increase with the level of competence. Knowledge of French and German also appears to be positively rewarded in the Turkish labor market, although their economic value seems mostly linked to an increased likelihood to hold specific occupations rather than increased earnings within occupations. Focusing on English, we also explore the heterogeneity in returns to different levels of proficiency by frequency of English use at work, birth-cohort, education, occupation and rural/urban location. The results are also robust to the endogenous specification of English language skills.
    Keywords: foreign languages, returns to skills, heterogeneity, Turkey
    JEL: I25 J24 J31 O15 O53
    Date: 2013–11
  3. By: Günalp, Burak; Cilasun, Seyit Mümin; Acar, Elif Öznur
    Abstract: A gender differential in wages is considered to be discriminatory if the differential cannot be explained by gender differences in productivity. Numerous studies have been performed to measure the extent of gender wage discrimination in countries across the world, and most report a substantial amount of wage differential after adjusting for productivity differences. This differential has been attributed to labor market discrimination against women. Using data from 2003 and 2010 Household Budget Surveys conducted by Turkish Statistical Institute, this study examines the male-female earnings differentials and measures the extent of pay discrimination in Turkey. To analyze the components of the earnings gap, two methodologies are employed: The standard Oaxaca–Blinder decomposition method and the Juhn–Murphy–Pierce decomposition method. The results of the study indicate that in both years, a significant portion of the observed wage differential is attributable to wage discrimination which records a rise over the period.
    Keywords: Male-Female Earnings Differentials, Gender Wage Discrimination, Oaxaca–Blinder Decomposition, Juhn–Murphy–Pierce Decomposition
    JEL: J16 J31 J70 J71 O15
    Date: 2013–11–16
    Abstract: This article examines to what extent Turkish municipalities apply the recently reformed Turkish accrual accounting rules as prescribed by the “Public Financial Management and Control Law, no: 5018” in 2004. As an emerging country, influenced by European and Asian cultures but not fitting to none of them, Turkey is an interesting and important case for the policy transfer. In Turkey, administrative reforms are especially encouraged by EU, IMF and WB who are external actors of the policy transfer process, turning these innovations into top--‐down reforms. Another important aspect of the study is that due to population growth, new municipalities are still formed in Turkey. These newly founded municipalities employ new public management methods of which accrual accounting is part. Based on this background, this paper briefly reviews the context, and driving forces conditioning the path of accrual accounting in public sector especially for the municipalities. Conclusions are drawn from the result of the level of compliance which is found as 60,8 % for 102 municipalities. Multiple regression analysis was the statistical method used to test the link between compliance level and municipal size and type, human resources, financial resources and the external influence such as external audit in this research.
    Keywords: Accrual accounting,compliance index, developing countries, new public management, public sector reform, Turkey
    Date: 2013–11
  5. By: Murat Ungor; M. Koray Kalafatcilar
    Abstract: [EN] Turkey has the highest average annual growth rate of GDP (measured in constant local currency) and the fifth highest average annual growth rate of, purchasing power parity (PPP)-adjusted, per capita income among all the OECD countries between 2004 and 2012. This note studies the sources of this high growth era in a comparative perspective, decomposing GDP per capita into three components: labor productivity, the ratio of employment-to-working-age population, and the ratio of working-age to total population. We find that growth in output per worker accounts for most of the speed up in Turkey’s GDP per capita growth during 2004-2007, with modest contributions from rising participation rates and increases in the working-age share of the total population. Similarly, declines in labor productivity are primarily responsible for contraction of output per capita during the 2007-2009 global recession. On the other hand, growth in employment-to-population ratio accounts for around two-thirds of growth in per capita output during 2009-2012. These findings suggest a productivity-based growth era before the global crisis and an employment-based growth era in the post-crisis period. [TR] Turkiye, 2004-2012 doneminde, reel GSYIH (yerel para birimi cinsinden) buyumesi olarak OECD ulkeleri arasinda en yuksek buyumeye; satin alma paritesi ile duzeltilmis kisi basina GSYIH buyumesi olarak da OECD ulkeleri arasinda en yuksek besinci buyumeye sahip ulkedir. Bu calismada, verimlilik ve demografik unsurlarin kisi basina gelir buyumesi uzerine etkileri ulkeler arasi karsilastirma yapilarak sunulmustur. Kisi basina gelir (i) emek verimliligi, (ii) istihdamin calisabilir nufusa orani ve (iii) calisabilir nufusun toplam nufusa orani olarak üc bilesene ayristirilmistir. 2004-2009 doneminde emek verimliligindeki artislar kisi basina gelir buyumesini etkileyen en onemli faktordur. Bununla birlikte, 2009-2012 doneminde istihdamin calisabilir nufusa oranindaki artislar kisi basina gelirde gozlenen buyumenin ucte ikisine yakinini aciklayabilmektedir. Bu bulgular, incelenen donemin kriz oncesi verimlilige dayali buyume donemi ve kriz sonrasinda istihdam kaynakli buyume donemi olarak ikiye ayrilabilecegine isaret etmektedir.
    Date: 2013
  6. By: Joao Ricardo Faria (University of Texas at El Paso); Peter McAdam (University of Surrey)
    Abstract: Following the Arab-Spring protests, we examine macroeconomic interactions between a productive firm and a rent-seeking government characterized by a continuous probability of regime shift. The model is able to rationalize the early growth leaps witnessed in many Arab economies (the “Social Contractâ€), as well as their subsequent stagnation. Although post-Spring outcomes are judged benevolent, the macroeconomic inheritance is dependent on the earlier transition characteristics. The model thus sheds light on Arab economic evolutions, the shifting preferences and technologies of authorities and the likely success of economic reforms.
    JEL: E24 F5 N17
    Date: 2013–11
  7. By: MARYAM FARHADI (IAU, Mobarakeh - Islamic Azad University, Mobarakeh - Department of Accounting, Mobarakeh Branch, Islamic Azad University, Mobarakeh, Isfahan, Iran); Hadi Salehi (UKM - Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia - Faculty Of Education, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (ukm), Malaysia); Mohamed Amin Embi (UKM - Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia - Faculty Of Education, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (ukm), Malaysia); MASOOD FOOLADI (IAU, Mobarakeh - Islamic Azad University, Mobarakeh - Department of Accounting, Mobarakeh Branch, Islamic Azad University, Mobarakeh, Isfahan, Iran); HADI FARHADI (UKM - Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia - School of Psychology and Human Development, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Malaysia); AREZOO AGHAEI CHADEGANI (IAU, Mobarakeh - Islamic Azad University, Mobarakeh - Department of Accounting, Mobarakeh Branch, Islamic Azad University, Mobarakeh, Isfahan, Iran); Nader Ale Ebrahim (UM - University of Malaya - Department of Engineering Design and Manufacture, Faculty of Engineering, University of Malaya)
    Abstract: The aim of this study is to examine the effect of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) development on country's scientific ranking as measured by H-index. Moreover, this study applies ICT development sub-indices including ICT Use, ICT Access and ICT skill to find the distinct effect of these sub-indices on country's H-index. To this purpose, required data for the panel of 14 Middle East countries over the period 1995 to 2009 is collected. Findings of the current study show that ICT development increases the H-index of the sample countries. The results also indicate that ICT Use and ICT Skill sub-indices positively contribute to higher H-index but the effect of ICT access on country's H-index is not clear.
    Keywords: Information and Communication Technology (ICT) development, H-index, Middle East
    Date: 2013
  8. By: Antonio R. Andrés (Eastern Mediterranean University); Asongu Simplice (Yaoundé/Cameroun); Voxi S. H. Amavilah (Glendale College, Economics, USA)
    Abstract: Using Kauffman, Kraay, and Mastruzzi governance indicators, this article analyzes the impact of formal institutions on the knowledge economy- by assessing how the enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) through good governance mechanisms affects the knowledge economy. The article also employs the World Bank’s four components of the knowledge economy index characteristic of its knowledge for development (K4D) framework. We estimate panel data models for 22 Middle East & North African and Sub-Sahara African countries over the period 1996-2010. The results show that for this group of countries the enforcement of IPR laws (treaties), although necessary, is not a sufficient condition for a knowledge economy. The results also suggest that other factors are more likely to determine the knowledge economies of these nations. Overall these findings have important implications for both policy and further research.
    Keywords: Formal institutions; Knowledge economy; Panel data; Principal component analysis (PCA)
    JEL: O10 O34 O38 P00 P48
    Date: 2013–06
  9. By: H. Burcu Gurcihan; Gonul Sengul; Arzu Yavuz
    Abstract: This paper examines various variables that are likely to be associated with the Turkish non-agricultural unemployment rate in search of indicators to summarize and forecast the state of the labor market. We consider a total of 72 series that reflect aggregate economic activity, labor market conditions, expectations over future economic activity, global economic trends and credit conditions. We use Granger causality tests, correlation analyses and individual out of sample forecast performance of these series to assess their informativeness about the unemployment rate. We find that Business Tendency Survey indicators and some series that measure the global economic conditions satisfy all three criteria of informativeness. Moreover, the composite index constructed from series selected based upon out of sample predictive power improves short-term forecast performance of the autoregressive benchmark model, where we use only lagged values of the unemployment rate.
    Keywords: Leading Indicator,Unemployment Rate,GrangerCausality Test
    JEL: C32 E24
    Date: 2013
  10. By: Odile Chanut; Nadjoua Gharbi; Dominique Bonet Fernandez; E. Hachemi Aliouche
    Abstract: Franchising has become a dominant model of retailing in the Western world and is rapidly expanding in emerging countries. This paper is an attempt to explain the significant differences in the development of franchising in three emerging countries: Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. Explanations can be found in the general institutional environment in these countries, including the political and economic environments; governments' willingness to modernize the distribution structures; and the legal and regulatory environments specific to franchising.Our analytical framework is based on institutional theory (DiMaggio & Powell, 1983), a framework that provides further insights beyond the approaches based on economic efficiency (agency theory and the resource scarcity perspective). Based on an analysis of the documents in the major public databases in the three countries, supplemented with field research, we propose an analytical framework that helps explain the uneven developments of franchising in the three North African countries based on the specific institutional environment of each country. This study thus provides empirical evidence supporting the institutional theory of franchise expansion. It appears that institutional theory complements agency theory and resource scarcity theory in explaining the development of franchising in emerging markets: while agency theory and resource scarcity theory explain the motivation of firms to expand internationally through franchising, institutional theory helps explain the success or failure of these firms in the emerging markets they expand to.
    Keywords: Institutional environment, institutional theory, analytical framework,international expansion, Maghreb.
    Date: 2013–11–14
  11. By: Ezzat, Hassan
    Abstract: This research investigates the presence of structural breaks in the indices of the Egyptian stock market using the Bai-Perron strcutural breaks test. The indices used are the EGX 30, the EGX 70, the EGX 100, and the EGX 20. The presence of long memory is then investigated using the GPH test and the modified GPH test by Andrews and Guggenberger for the full sample and the identified break periods for each index. Finally, an EGARCH model is estimated for the full sample and each break period. Structural breaks were identified triggered by the subprime crisis and the world financial crisis for three indices. Structural breaks triggered by events of the Egyptian revolution were accurately identified for one index. For the daily returns of the EGX 30, EGX 70, and the EGX 100 long memory is found to be spurious while for the EGX 20 long memory in returns is more apparent. For volatility, real long memory is present in the EGX 30, the EGX 70, and the EGX 20, while spurious long memory is present in the EGX 100 because of the presence of periods exhibiting strong anti-persistence. The EGARCH parameters for the full sample were found to be significantly different from the specifications for the break periods for each index. It is concluded that structural breaks are clearly present in the indices of the Egyptian stock market and have considerable impact on the dynamics of daily returns and volatility.
    Keywords: The Egyptian exchange, long memory, GPH, structural breaks, EGARCH.
    JEL: C14 C32 C58 D53 G17
    Date: 2013–08–01
  12. By: Chiny, Faycal
    Abstract: L'analyse des corrélations, constitue le pilier d’une stratégie réussie de diversification du portefeuille d’actions. Plus faibles sont les corrélations au sein d’un même portefeuille, plus importants seront les profits potentiels que nous pouvons en obtenir. Dans un contexte local, ceci est équivalent à l’étude des corrélations entre tous les rendements des valeurs ciblées par un investisseur sur un seul marché. Mais à l’échelle internationale, cette tache devient plus difficile car on est appelé à analyser toutes les relations entres les rendements sur les différents marchés internationaux. Erb, Harvey et Viskant (1994) et Longin et Solnik (1995), ont démontré que ces corrélations, varient avec le temps selon des phases cycliques dans les économies. Nous allons alors étudier au niveau international, la relation entre les corrélations et la volatilité des rendements des indices boursiers de 4 pays : le Maroc, la France, les Etas Unis et le Japon, et ce, du 01/01/2002 au 31/12/2012 et essayer de trouver s’il existe ou non, une relation de cause à effet
    Keywords: Variation des corrélations dans le temps, modèle GARCH, gestion du portefeuille
    JEL: C22 E44 G15
    Date: 2013–11–18
  13. By: Hakan Kara; Cagri Sarikaya
    Abstract: Turkiye’de son yillarda cari islemler aciginin yuksek seviyelerde dalgali bir seyir izlemesi ve buna paralel olarak gundeme gelen kirilganliklar, dis dengeyi makroekonomik istikrari saglamaya yonelik politikalarin merkezine oturtmaktadir. Cari islemler dengesine dair politika tasariminin saglikli bir sekilde yapilabilmesi icin oncelikle herhangi bir donemde cari acigin ne kadarinin konjonkturel (cevrimsel) ne kadarinin yapisal unsurlara atfedilebilecegi sorusunun yanitlanmasi gerekmektedir. Bu calisma basit bir yontemle ic talep, dis talep ve dis ticaret fiyatlarindaki konjonkturel etkileri arindirarak cari islemler dengesinin uzun vadeli ana egilimini tespit etmeyi amaclamaktadir. Cesitli varsayimlar altinda yapilan hesaplamalar, son 10 yillik donemde cari islemler dengesinde yapisal (konjonkturel etkilerle aciklanamayan) bir bozulmaya isaret etmektedir. Yakin donemde ise cari islemler aciginin milli gelire orani yuzde 5 civarinda istikrarli bir ana egilim sergilemektedir. Calismanin bulgulari, cari denge dinamiklerinin ve buna yonelik uygulanan politikalarin anlasilmasina katkida bulunmaktadir.
    Keywords: Cari Denge, Dis Ticaret, Is Cevrimi, Cevrim Uyarlamasi, Filtreleme
    JEL: E32 F14 F32
    Date: 2013
  14. By: Binnur Balkan; Yusuf Soner Baskaya; Semih Tumen
    Abstract: [TR] Bu calisma, 2008 yilinda uygulamaya konan istihdam tesvik programinin hedef demografik gruplarin istihdam olasiliklari uzerinde etkili olup olmadigini Hanehalki Isgucu Anketi’nin 2004- 2011 donemini kapsayan mikro verilerini kullanarak analiz etmektedir. Programin, 18-29 yas grubundaki erkekler ile yastan bagimsiz bir bicimde tum kadinlardan olusan hedef grup ile tesvik kapsaminda olmayan 30 yas uzeri erkekler arasindaki istihdam orani farkini 1,4 yuzdelik puan azalttigi farklarin farki yontemi ile hesaplanmaktadir. Alt gruplar itibariyle, etkinin daha cok 30 yas uzerindeki kadinlar ile 30 yas uzeri erkeklerin istihdam oranindaki farkin 2,6 yuzdelik puan kapanmasindan kaynaklandigi gozlenmektedir. Isgucu piyasasina katilimi kisitli olan gruplara istihdam saglama amaci cercevesinde irdelendiginde soz konusu politikanin tatminkar sonuclar urettigi degerlendirilmektedir. [EN] Using micro-level data from the Household Labor Force Survey for the 2004-2011 period, this study evaluates whether the employment subsidies introduced in 2008 have an impact on the employment probabilities by demographic groups. Implementing the difference-in-differences method, we show that the employment gap between the target group, which consists of males of age 18-29 and all females, and males above 30 years old has narrowed by 1.4 percentage points. In terms of the subgroups, we observe that this aggregate effect mostly comes from the narrowing between the employment probabilities of females above 30 years old and males above 30 years old by 2.6 percentage points. When improving the employment prospects of the groups with low labor market participation is the concern, we think, in light of these results, that the subsidy program has produced satisfactory outcomes.
    Date: 2013

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