nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2014‒05‒17
thirteen papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
University of Ottawa

  1. GCC Countries and the Nexus between Exchange Rate and Oil Price: What wavelet decomposition reveals? By Bouoiyour, Jamal; Selmi, Refk
  2. Skill Mismatch and Migration in Egypt and Tunisia By Anda David; Christophe Nordman
  3. "How Poor Is Turkey? And What Can Be Done About It?" By Ajit Zacharias; Thomas Masterson; Emel Memis
  4. Entry to Foreign Markets and Productivity: Evidence from a Matched Sample of Turkish Manufacturing Firms By Basak Dalgic; Burcu Fazlioglu; Deniz Karaoglan
  5. Source and host country volatility and FDI: A gravity analysis of European investment to Middle East and North Africa By Dalila Nicet-Chenaf; Eric Rougier
  6. Disentangling the pattern of geographic concentration in Tunisian manufacturing industries By Ayadi, Mohamed; Mattoussi, Wided
  7. The economics of happiness and anger in North Africa By Chamlou, Nadereh
  8. Quality institutional reform and economic performance: Case of telecommunications in the MENA region By Bouras, Hela; Fekih, Bouthaina Soussi
  9. Scoping of the Tunisian economy By Ayadi, Mohamed; Mattoussi, Wided
  10. The Effect of Governance and Political Instability Determinants on Inflation in Iran By Khani Hoolari, Seyed Morteza; Abounoori, Abbas Ali; Mohammadi, Teymour
  11. The economics of marriage in North Africa By Assaad, Ragui; Krafft, Caroline
  12. The duration of bank relationships and the performance of Tunisian firms By Hakimi, Abdelaziz; Hamdi, Helmi
  13. Industrialization and Economic Policy in Algeria: a Synthesis over half a Century By Frédéric Teulon; Dominique Bonet Fernandez

  1. By: Bouoiyour, Jamal; Selmi, Refk
    Abstract: We employ wavelet decomposition and nonlinear causality test to investigate the nexus between the real oil price and the real effective exchange rate in three GCC countries : Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE. We find strong evidence in favor of a feedback hypothesis in Qatar and UAE and of a neutrality hypothesis in Saudi Arabia. The first observation outcome means that Qatar and UAE should reinforce the downward effect of oil price on real exchange rate by improving diversification policy. The second one implies that the behavior of Saudi Arabia as a price maker may allows it to maintain a quick recovery under oil shocks.
    Keywords: real oil price, real effective exchange rate, wavelets, nonlinear causality.
    JEL: Q4 Q43
    Date: 2014
  2. By: Anda David (PSL, Université Paris Dauphine, LEDa, IRD, UMR DIAL); Christophe Nordman (IRD, UMR 225 DIAL, PSL, Université Paris Dauphine, LEDa)
    Abstract: (english) The objective of this paper is to shed light on the issue of skill mismatch in the context of return migration in Egypt and Tunisia. Using data on both return and potential migrants in Egypt and Tunisia, we analyze the skills that migrants acquire before and during migration and the way these skills are used upon return. We find evidence of skill mismatch, especially in Tunisia. The undereducation phenomenon is more prevalent among return migrants, indicating that they make up for their lower education using their migration experience. Finally, we estimate the determinants of skill mismatch on the Egyptian and Tunisian labour markets and find a significant negative effect of return migration on the probability of being undereducated. _________________________________ (français) L'objectif de cet article est d’apporter un éclairage sur la question de l'inadéquation des qualifications dans le cadre de la migration de retour en Egypte et en Tunisie. En utilisant à la fois des données sur les migrants de retour et sur les migrants potentiels en Egypte et en Tunisie, nous analysons les qualifications que les migrants acquièrent avant et pendant la période de migration et la façon dont ces compétences sont utilisées à leur retour. Nos résultats confirment l’existence d’un fort degré d'inadéquation des qualifications, en particulier en Tunisie. Le phénomène de la sous-éducation est plus présent pour les migrants de retour, indiquant qu'ils compensent leur faible niveau d'éducation en utilisant leur expérience migratoire. Enfin, nous examinons les déterminants de l'inadéquation des qualifications sur les marchés du travail égyptien et tunisien et trouvons en effet une corrélation négative et significative de la migration de retour sur la probabilité d'être sous-éduqué.
    Keywords: Return migration, skill mismatch, labor market, education, Tunisia and Egypt, Migration de retour, inadéquation des qualifications, marché du travail, éducation, Tunisie et Egypte.
    JEL: J24 F22 O15 I25
    Date: 2014–04
  3. By: Ajit Zacharias; Thomas Masterson; Emel Memis
    Abstract: Gauging the severity of poverty in a given country requires a reasonably comprehensive measurement of whether individuals and households are surpassing some basic threshold of material well-being. This would seem to be an obvious point, and yet, in most cases, our official poverty metrics fail that test, often due to a crucial omission. In this policy brief, Senior Scholar Ajit Zacharias, Research Scholar Thomas Masterson, and Research Associate Emel MemiÅŸ present an alternative measure of poverty for Turkey and lay out the policy lessons that follow. Their research reveals that the number of people living in poverty and the severity of their deprivation have been significantly underestimated. This report is part of an ongoing Levy Institute project on time poverty (the Levy Institute Measure of Time and Income Poverty), which has produced research on Latin America, Korea, and now Turkey, with the aim of extending this approach to other countries.
    Date: 2014–05
  4. By: Basak Dalgic (Department of Public Finance, Hacettepe University); Burcu Fazlioglu (Department of International Entrepreneurship, TOBB ETU University); Deniz Karaoglan (Department of Economics, METU)
    Abstract: We examine the effects of international trading activities of firms on creating productivity gains in Turkey by using a recent firm level dataset over the period 2003-2010. We establish treatment models and investigate the productivity improvements of firms through trade by using Propensity Score Matching (PSM) techniques along with Difference-in-Difference (DID) estimates. Three different groups of treatment are constructed: (i) firms that involve only in importing activities, (ii) firms that involve only in exporting activities, (iii) firms that involve in both exporting and importing activities. The results of the study suggest that both exporting and importing have positive significant effects on total factor productivity (TFP) and labor productivity (LP) of firms. Importing is found to have a greater impact on productivity of firms compared to exporting. Further, two-way trade is found to have more significant effects than those of one-way trade on firm productivity Finally, our results indicate that international trade has greater impact on LP rather than TFP of firms.
    Keywords: Productivity, Imports, Exports, Propensity Score Matching.
    JEL: F10 D21 D24 C21 C23
    Date: 2014–05
  5. By: Dalila Nicet-Chenaf (Larefi - Laboratoire d'analyse et de recherche en économie et finance internationales - Université Montesquieu - Bordeaux IV : EA2954); Eric Rougier (GREThA - Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée - CNRS : UMR5113 - Université Montesquieu - Bordeaux IV)
    Abstract: Macroeconomic determinants of FDI are seldom analyzed from the perspective of source countries, priority being generally given to host country characteristics. In a gravity set-up, we analyze FDI flows from European Union to MENA economies. We find that European investment to our MENA host countries is higher, the lower the source country output volatility, thereby supporting the existence of an income effect for European Transnational corporations. In the case of MENA economies, source country output volatility's adverse impact on FDI is counterbalanced by the positive attraction effect of domestic swings of activity. We also find that 1995's Barcelona agreement has reinforced MENA countries' vulnerability to European short- and medium-term macroeconomic cycles. The emergence of non-traditional sources of European FDI is, however, a positive evolution since Eastern and Central European investment to MENA countries is less sensitive to host and source country macroeconomic volatility that traditional Western and southern European sources tend to be. Our results are robust to various changes in estimator, sample composition or measurement of instability.
    Keywords: Output volatility, Inflation, FDI, gravity model, source countries, European Union, MENA
    Date: 2014–04–16
  6. By: Ayadi, Mohamed; Mattoussi, Wided
    Abstract: In this paper, we examine the pattern of spatial concentration of manufacturing industries observed in Tunisia and explore the factors driving firms. choices of location at the provincial level. We consider specialization and competition indicators as the
    Keywords: industrial concentration, concentration index, competition index, Tunisia
    Date: 2014
  7. By: Chamlou, Nadereh
    Abstract: Economics has rediscovered happiness even though the discipline has always been about human wellbeing. A growing evidence suggests that happier people can be more productive and innovative, which leads to profitability and economic growth. Thus, there are
    Keywords: economics of happiness, Arab Spring, North Africa, Islamic economics, freedom, governance
    Date: 2014
  8. By: Bouras, Hela; Fekih, Bouthaina Soussi
    Abstract: This paper tries to find the determinants and the economic performance measurements in the telecom sector by studying the impact of policy reform and the macro-institutional environment along with external factors such as the investment effort, population size and sector revenues in the MENA region on the economic performance in the sector. The privatization in the MENA region corresponded in many cases to a foreign capital participation which makes the analysis of the effect of this interaction very important. In a dynamic Panel data model, the System GMM estimator of Blundel and Bond (1998) allows us estimating the coefficients of each determinant as well as the weight of the reform policy and the institutional environment on the economic performance of the sector
    Keywords: privatization, policy of openness, institutional quality, economic performance.
    JEL: H10
    Date: 2013–05
  9. By: Ayadi, Mohamed; Mattoussi, Wided
    Abstract: In this scooping paper on the Tunisian economy we review the historical background of the economy which has undergone substantial structural change since independence in 1956. In particular we emphasize that past record of consistent growth has often mask
    Keywords: exports, manufacturing, industrial policy, Tunisia
    Date: 2014
  10. By: Khani Hoolari, Seyed Morteza; Abounoori, Abbas Ali; Mohammadi, Teymour
    Abstract: Empirical literature that examines the determinants of inflation in Iran has suggested inflation as a monetary phenomenon. This study investigates the effect of political instability and governance parameters on inflation in Iran over 1959 to 2010. This research sought to identify the profound factors which determine inflation in Iran. Using a combination of the predictions of Fiscal Theory of Price Level (FTPL) determination and Political Economy of Macroeconomic Policy (PEMP) literature and applying the Generalized Method of Moments (GMM), we study this relationship through two different models. The results of monetary model indicate that the effects of monetary determinants depend on the political environment of Iran. The political model expresses a positive relationship between inflation and political instability and governance parameters.
    Keywords: Governance Political instability Major Cabinet Changes Government Crisis Inflation
    JEL: C52 O38 P48
    Date: 2014–01
  11. By: Assaad, Ragui; Krafft, Caroline
    Abstract: Marriage is the single most important economic transaction and social transition in the lives of young people. Yet little is known about the economics of marriage in much of the developing world. This paper examines the economics of marriage in North Afri
    Keywords: economics of marriage, marriage market, marriage contract, bargaining, North Africa, age at marriage, marriage costs, consanguinity, nuclear residence
    Date: 2014
  12. By: Hakimi, Abdelaziz; Hamdi, Helmi
    Abstract: In this article, we investigate the link between the duration of bank relationships and its consequences on the performance of Tunisian firms. Performance is measured by the return on equity (ROE) and the return on Assets (ROA). We collected data of 100 Tunisian companies for the period of 2000-2007. Applying panel data estimation, our results opine that the cost of credit decreases the performance of Tunisian firms while the duration of bank relationships improves their performance and increase their profitability.
    Keywords: Bank relationships, Tunisia, Panel Data
    JEL: G30 L10
    Date: 2013
  13. By: Frédéric Teulon; Dominique Bonet Fernandez
    Abstract: Since independence, Algeria has spent nearly half of the last fifty years to build a model of socialist development and the other half tried to escape, hampered by a system of conservation of power, unable to spread the wealth and thus achieve a legitimate economic growth. The objective of this paper is to identify the factors that led Algeria to an economic paradox. Based on a synthesis of several studies on the economic and political situation in the country since its independence, either directly (specific studies on Algeria) or indirectly (studies on the development strategies of a patrimonial State) we present the model of development, the shifts in economic policy, which led to the current situation.
    Keywords: Algeria, dutch disease, socialist development.
    Date: 2014–05–15

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