nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2014‒06‒02
sixteen papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
University of Ottawa

  1. Overview of knowledge transfer in MENA countries - The case of Egypt By Nour S.
  2. Public investment and regional politics: The case of Turkey By Muysken J.; Crombrugghe D.P.I. de; Celbis M.G.
  3. Access and use of ICT in female-owned SMEs in selected Arab Countries and Brazil: A comparative study By Mona Farid Badran, PhD
  4. In Search of a ‘Platform’ for Mediterranean Renewables Exchange: ‘EU-Style’ System vs. a 'Corridor-by-Corridor' Approach By Nicole Ahner; Jean-Michel Glachant
  5. "To Have and Have Not": Migration, Remittances, Poverty and Inequality in Algeria By David Margolis; Luis Miotti; El Mouhoub Mouhoud; Joël Oudinet
  6. Technological Foundations of Political Instability By Dagaev, Dmitry; Lamberova, Natalia; Sobolev, Anton; Sonin, Konstantin
  7. Education, training and skill development policies in Arab Gulf countries: Macro-micro overview By Nour S.
  8. Corporate governance in Islamic financial institutions By Elasrag, Hussein
  9. Are the Benefits of Export Support Durable? Evidence from Tunisia By Cadot, Olivier; Fernandes, Ana; Gourdon, Julien; Mattoo, Aaditya
  10. Stock markets and economic growth in oil exporting countries: evidence from Kuwait. By Bentour, El Mostafa
  11. The Impact of Financial Development on the Relationship between Trade Credit, Bank Credit and Firm Characteristics By Jézabel Couppey-Soubeyran; Jérôme Héricourt
  12. Structure of labour market and unemployment in Sudan By Nour S.
  13. Le comportement du musulman en matière de crédit à intérêt face à la contrainte religieuse By Kchirid, Mustapha; Tarbalouti, Essaid; Elgraa, Mohamed
  14. Faut-il réformer la caisse de compensation au Maroc ? By Tarbalouti, Mr
  15. هيكل الدين العام في الأردن وتأثيره على النمو الاقتصادي (1980 - 2012) By AL-Adayleh, Radi; AL-amro, Hassan; AL-Gralleh, Huthaifa
  16. تأثير السياسة المالية على التنافسية السعرية لقطاع الصناعة التحويلية الأردني By alamro, Hassan

  1. By: Nour S. (UNU-MERIT)
    Abstract: This paper provides an overview of knowledge transfer and explains the factors that enable or impede absorption capacity and knowledge transfer in the MENA countries, with particular reference to the case of Egypt. We employ the conceptual framework used in the international literature on absorption capacity and international knowledge transfer channels including FDI, international trade, ICT, education, human capital mobility and university-industry linkage, and we examine the factors that enable or impede absorption capacity and knowledge transfer channels in the MENA region and Egypt respectively. One interesting element in our study is that we present a systematic framework for the factors that enable or impede knowledge transfer in Egypt and the MENA region. We find that the factors hindering absorption capacity and knowledge transfer are related to institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, higher education and training, goods market efficiency and labour market efficiency, financial market development, technological readiness and capacity for innovation. Our results are consistent with the stylized facts in the MENA literature regarding the impediment factors hampering the transfer of knowledge in the MENA region. Our results are also in line with the stylized facts in the international literature regarding the interaction and linkage between the different knowledge transfer channels. The major policy implication from our findings is that knowledge transfer is facilitated by supporting the linkages between the different knowledge transfer channels within this systematic framework. Knowledge transfer through utilization of FDI is facilitated by the sound institutions for the provision of sufficiently qualified labour, ICT infrastructure, opening up to international trade, good university-industry cooperation, RD and innovation capacity. Knowledge transfer through utilization of international trade is facilitated by the sound institutions for the provision of sufficiently qualified labour and ICT infrastructure. Finally, knowledge transfer through utilization of human capital and ICT is facilitated by supporting the complementary relationship between them. Keywords Absorption capacity; knowledge transfer; MENA Region; Egypt
    Keywords: Economic Development: General; Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development; Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights: General;
    JEL: O10 O11 O30
    Date: 2014
  2. By: Muysken J.; Crombrugghe D.P.I. de; Celbis M.G. (UNU-MERIT)
    Abstract: The determinants of the regional allocation of transportation and communication investments are analysed for the twenty-six statistical regions of Turkey for the years 1999 through 2011. A unique regional GVA series covering this period is constructed for this purpose. We specifically account for the possibility of dependence between allocation decisions for different infrastructure types. Estimation results strongly suggest that political bias has been present in the allocation decisions of regional transportation and communication public investments in Turkey. Keywords Public Infrastructure; Regional Policy; Investment Allocation.
    Keywords: National Government Expenditures and Related Policies: Infrastructures; Other Public Investment and Capital Stock; Capitalist Systems: Political Economy; Transportation Systems: Government and Private Investment Analysis; Road Maintenance, Transportation Planning; Regional Development Planning and Policy;
    JEL: P16 R42 R58 H54
    Date: 2014
  3. By: Mona Farid Badran, PhD (Faculty of Economics and Political Science, Cairo, Egypt)
    Abstract: This research paper aims to present a comparative empirical study, to investigate the impact that ICT plays on empowering women entrepreneurs in 5 developing/ emerging countries, namely Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Algeria, and Brazil. The World Bank's Investment Climate Assessment Surveys (ICA), are the primary source for data, for the four Arab countries, and Brazil. The ICA database provides comparable enterprise level data based on similar sampling techniques. The results obtained from the empirical study reveal that in the selected Arab countries, the increase in female owned SMEs is associated with a decrease in the Internal Rate of Return. However, when we control for ICT in terms of ICT index constructed using the Principal component analysis technique (PCA), the female owned SMEs becomes statistically insignificant, as well as the ICT index. This implies that IRR is negatively associated with the female owners of the SME, and there is a no association between IRR and the access and use of ICT. In Brazil, however, neither gender nor ICT played any role in the profitability of SMEs. However, as for the other measure for economic performance, namely the labor intensity, the findings reveal that in the selected Arab countries, the ICT index has a positive, statically significant, association with laborintensity, while in Brazil the usage of a Website has a negative, statistically significant, association with the labor-intensity.
    Keywords: SMEs, females, Arab countries, Brazil, ICT, ICA survey
    JEL: J16 M13
    Date: 2014–05
  4. By: Nicole Ahner; Jean-Michel Glachant
    Abstract: Recent years have seen increasing efforts in Europe to win the Southern Mediterranean countries as new suppliers of energy from renewable sources (RES-E). Massive amounts of green electricity that is generated in the Middle East and the North Africa (MENA) regions might someday be consumed in the EU. However, beyond the stark invocation of an Euro-Mediterranean RES-E exchange, less attention has been given to its actual implementation. This article takes stock of the applicable EU regime that governs the transfer of green electricity via Maghreb-EU corridors. In our investigation, centre stage is given to Article 9 of Directive 2009/28/EC (RES Directive), which introduced the opportunity for the EU Member States to receive credit towards their 2020 targets for clean power generated in third countries, provided that it is consumed inside the EU. We will argue that the EU, in practice, is moving towards a ‘corridor-by-corridor’ approach, rather than towards a fully-fledged ‘EU-style’ system.
    Keywords: Renewables Directive, Cooperation Mechanism, Renewables Exchange, Mediterranean Basin
    Date: 2014–04
  5. By: David Margolis (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris, Paris School of Economics - Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne, IZA - Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit (Institute for the Study of Labor) - Bonn Universität - University of Bonn); Luis Miotti (CEPN - Centre d'Economie de l'Université de Paris Nord (ancienne affiliation) - Université Paris XIII - Paris Nord - CNRS : UMR7115); El Mouhoub Mouhoud (UP9 - Université Paris 9, Dauphine - Université Paris IX - Paris Dauphine, LEDa - Laboratoire d'Economie de Dauphine - Université Paris IX - Paris Dauphine); Joël Oudinet (CEPN - Centre d'Economie de l'Université de Paris Nord (ancienne affiliation) - Université Paris XIII - Paris Nord - CNRS : UMR7115)
    Abstract: This article analyses the distributional impact of remittances across two regions of Algerian emigration (Nedroma and Idjeur) using an original survey we conducted of 1,200 households in 2011. Remittances and especially the role played by foreign pensions decrease the Gini index by nearly 4 % for the two Algerian regions, with the effect in Idjeur being twice as large as Nedroma. At the same time, they help reduce poverty by nearly 13 percentage points. Remittances have a strong positive impact on very poor families in Idjeur but much less in Nedroma, where poor families suffer from a "double loss" due to the absence of their migrants and the fact that the latter do not send money home.
    Keywords: Remittances; Migration; Poverty; Inequality; Algeria
    Date: 2013–11–06
  6. By: Dagaev, Dmitry; Lamberova, Natalia; Sobolev, Anton; Sonin, Konstantin
    Abstract: There has been a wide-spread belief that elections with a wide franchise following removal of an oppressive dictator lead to establishment of a government that is not vulnerable to mass protest. At the same time, most of the post-World War II non-constitutional exits of recently-installed autocratic leaders were caused by elite coups, rather than popular protests. The recent experience of Egypt, where the democratic post-Mubarak government, a result of the Arab Spring, collapsed after having had almost uninterrupted protests since its first day in office, offers a striking counterexample to both of these patterns. We demonstrate that this is a general phenomenon: the same technological shock, arrival of social media, that makes the incumbent vulnerable, lays foundation for continuous instability of the subsequent democratic government. Our theoretical model, which incorporates protest into a Downsian framework, takes into account specific features of modern protests: the significant role of social media and the absence of the partisan or personalized leadership during popular unrest. Case studies of the Arab countries with and without large-scale protests corroborate our theoretical findings.
    Keywords: Arab Spring; autocracy; collective action; regime change; social media
    JEL: C42 D74 L96
    Date: 2013–12
  7. By: Nour S. (UNU-MERIT)
    Abstract: This paper uses a combination of secondary and primary data to provide a more comprehensive analysis of education, training and skill development policies in the Gulf countries. Different from earlier studies an interesting element in our analysis is that we discuss both the supply and demand sides of educational policies in the Gulf countries. A novel element in our study is that we present and compare the macro and micro views/perspectives concerning plans and policies implemented to improve skill upgrading through enhancing educational system, provision of training, transfer of knowledge/external schooling effect, using the macro and firm surveys 2002 data. Keywords Education; training; skill; skill upgrading policies; Gulf countries
    Keywords: National Government Expenditures and Education; Education and Research Institutions: General; Analysis of Education; Education and Inequality; Education: Government Policy; Personnel Economics: Training; Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration;
    JEL: H52 I20 I21 I24 I28 M53 O15
    Date: 2014
  8. By: Elasrag, Hussein
    Abstract: This paper is one of few papers that highlight the importance of studying corporate governance for institutions offering Islamic financial services. The book is of value in describing governance in Islamic institutions and how there are many issues under the investigation process, especially issues related to the shari‘a Supervisory board and its functionality. One of the objectives of this paper is to discuss, and create greater awareness of, some of the crucial issues related to corporate governance in Islamic financial institutions. A second, but in fact more important, objective is to provide, in the light of this discussion, certain essential guidelines to improve corporate governance in these institutions and thereby enable them to not only maintain their momentum of growth and international acceptance but also safeguard the interests of all stakeholders. The paper gives particular attention to the mechanisms for corporate governance, including the Board of Directors, Senior Management, shareholders, depositors, and regulatory and supervisory authorities. It also focuses on the effective management of risks and, in particular, on creating a supporting environment through moral uplift, social, legal and institutional checks, greater transparency, internal controls, and Shari'a as well as external audit. The paper also indicates briefly the shared institutions that are needed for effective corporate governance.
    Keywords: Corporate governance,Islamic Finance,ISLAMIC FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS,SHARI‘A GOVERNANCE
    JEL: G0 G15 G2 G21 G34
    Date: 2014–05–26
  9. By: Cadot, Olivier; Fernandes, Ana; Gourdon, Julien; Mattoo, Aaditya
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the effects of the FAMEX export promotion program in Tunisia on the performance of beneficiary firms. While most studies assess only the short-term impact of such programs, we consider also the longer-term impact. Estimates suggest that beneficiaries initially saw both faster export growth and greater diversification across destinations and products. However, three years after the intervention, beneficiaries’ growth rates and export levels were not significantly different from those of a control group even though they remained more diversified. We confirm that this divergence between export growth and diversification is not due to small export transactions to new markets creating an illusion of diversification; to greater exposure of beneficiary firms to crisis-affected economies leading to stunted export growth; or to spillover benefits for non-beneficiary firms resulting in their catching-up in export sales. We find some evidence that the divergence may be related to constraints within the firm, such as limited experience and in-house export capacity; to external constraints, such as access to finance; and to the design and implementation of the FAMEX program which placed greater emphasis on diversification than on export growth.
    Keywords: export margins; Export promotion; firms; impact evaluation; matching grant; propensity-score matching; Tunisia
    JEL: C23 F13 F14 L15 L25 O17 O24
    Date: 2013–11
  10. By: Bentour, El Mostafa
    Abstract: This paper empirically investigates the role played by the Kuwait stock market on the real sector. It uses useful steps and techniques to set up a regression based on the Mankiw-Romer-Weil model to answer whether there is an eventually positive effect of the stock market developments on the real economy. The results show a positive impact of the market capitalisation on the Gross Domestic Product. The elasticity of the market capitalization to GDP is around 0.17. This impact is also confirmed by an autoregressive vector model via estimation and impulse response functions on both total and non oil GDP.
    Keywords: Non oil GDP, Market Capitalization, Cobb-Douglas, Human Capital.
    JEL: O11 O47
    Date: 2014–05–15
  11. By: Jézabel Couppey-Soubeyran (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne, Paris School of Economics - Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne); Jérôme Héricourt (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne, CEPII - Centre d'Etudes Prospectives et d'Informations Internationales - Centre d'analyse stratégique, EQUIPPE - ECONOMIE QUANTITATIVE, INTEGRATION, POLITIQUES PUBLIQUES ET ECONOMETRIE - Université Lille I - Sciences et technologies - Université Lille II - Droit et santé - Université Lille III - Sciences humaines et sociales - PRES Université Lille Nord de France)
    Abstract: Using a database of more than 1,300 firms from six countries in the MENA region, we study the impact of financial development on the relationship between trade credit on the one hand and bank credit access and firm-level characteristics, especially financial health, on the other hand. Trade credit use increases with the difficulty for gaining access to bank credit, and indicators of the quality of the firm's financial structure negatively influence the use of trade credit. Additional investigations tend to suggest that increased financial development significantly reduces the substitution relationship between trade credit and bank credit, and more generally decreases the influence of most firm-level determinants for trade credit usage. These results are plausibly explained by a demand-driven story: when bank credit access gets increasingly difficult, or when financial health deteriorates, the demand for trade credit increases. Similarly, when financial development increases, firms have better access to bank credit, and impact of this variable (or financial health proxies) on the demand for trade credit becomes less or not significant.
    Keywords: trade credit;bank credit; financial constraints; financial development
    Date: 2013
  12. By: Nour S. (UNU-MERIT)
    Abstract: This paper examines the structure of the labour market and unemployment in Sudan. One advantage of our analysis is that we explain several stylized facts on the labour market using new secondary data on population, employment and unemployment based on Sudan Central Bureau of Statistics 2010 the Fifth Sudan Population and Housing Census 2008. We explain several stylized facts on the relation between the structure of the labour market and demographic structure, labour force, participation rates, economic activities, low skill level and high unemployment rate defined by gender and mode of living in Sudan. Different from the findings in the empirical literature in support of the Phillips curve on the negative correlation between inflation and unemployment rates, we find a positive and significant correlation between unemployment and inflation rates in Sudan during the period 2000-2008. Moreover, different from the analysis in Sudanese literature, we present a more comprehensive analysis of four stylized facts on the unemployment problem in Sudan, including identifying several types of unemployment; interpretation of unemployment problems from due to endogenous and exogenous causes; analysis of the high incidence of unemployment among youth population and a high mismatch between educational qualifications supply and labour market requirements demand. The major policy implication from our findings is that the unemployment problem is related to endogenous and exogenous causes; therefore policy interventions for reducing unemployment should deal with these endogenous and exogenous causes. Notably, improvement of job creation and quality of educational policies and consistency between educational qualifications output and labour market requirements. Another major policy implication from our results on the significant positive correlation between increase in unemployment and inflation rates 2000-2008, implies that macroeconomic policies aimed at or targeting reducing inflation rates would also help to reduce unemployment rates in Sudan. Keywords Labour market; employment; unemployment; Sudan.
    Keywords: Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Demographic Economics: General; Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts; Demand and Supply of Labor: General; Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure; Labor Demand; Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity; Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search;
    JEL: E24 J10 J11 J20 J21 J23 J24 J64
    Date: 2014
  13. By: Kchirid, Mustapha; Tarbalouti, Essaid; Elgraa, Mohamed
    Abstract: Contrary to the Islamic laws considered as social standard governing the behavior of the Muslims, the facts relative to most of the Muslim countries show that the detention of a conventional bank account considered as illicit because it is generative of the rate of interest and savings is more spread where the population is important. In this article, we divert the conditions under which these principles are not respected. We demonstrate that the cost to inquire some on the others can constitute a brake with care of the Islamic laws. Indeed, the more the population is important, the more the information is scattered and more its cost is raised reducing the effect of social cost of the standard with regard to the earnings expected from the detention of the account.
    Keywords: Islam, Interest, behavior
    JEL: K40 K49
    Date: 2013
  14. By: Tarbalouti, Mr
    Abstract: Faut-il réformer la caisse de compensation au Maroc? Par Essaid Tarbalouti Version, Mars 2014 The debate on the efficiency of the subsidy of the prices of foodstuffs granted by the policy of compensation and his reform are deeply livened up between the government and the opposition in terms of its cost and its ineffectiveness. This debate concentrate on the social earnings to replace this mechanism of assistant by the granting of a minimum income to the poor people. We demonstrate that this mechanism in spite of the superiority on the policy of compensation, in the presence of the convex preferences, there is less effective than a check food. Consequently, this article answers two questions: what shape of assistant is more effective and to what extent these assistants stress social inequalities instead of reducing them?
    Keywords: Kind of Subsidy ; subsidy in species (minimum income, check food) ; social Cost ; inequality.
    JEL: D61 D63
    Date: 2014–03
  15. By: AL-Adayleh, Radi; AL-amro, Hassan; AL-Gralleh, Huthaifa
    Abstract: The intention of this study was to investigate the structure of public debt in Jordan and its impact on economic growth, over the period 1980-2012. The statistical techniques which were employed in this study include Johanson co-integration test, Vector Error Correction Model (VECM) to explore the association between domestic debt and external debt ratio of GDP as independent variables and the total debt relative to GDP as the dependent variable, Also Fully modified least squares (FMOLS) approach is employed in order to describe the impact of internal and external debt on economic growth. The co-integration test procedure reveals that there is one relationship, consequently an (VECM) was estimated revealing that 9 % of the departure from equilibrium is cleared annually, and the results of Causality test showed that independent variables have uni-directional relationship with the total debt as the dependent variable . Based on regression coefficient, it was found that external debt has a negative influence, and domestic debt has positive influence on economic growth . The study recommended that the external debt must be re-oriented toward invested in productive projects in order to the burden of debt service
    Keywords: Public Debt , GDP , Fully modified least squares
    JEL: E6 E62
    Date: 2014–04–28
  16. By: alamro, Hassan
    Abstract: تهدف هذه الدراسة إلى بيان مدى تأثير السياسة المالية على المقدرة التنافسية السعرية في قطاع الصناعة التحويلية الأردني، حيث تم استخدام مؤشر نسبة هامش الربح كمؤشر ممثل للمقدرة التنافسية السعرية. ولتحقيق هذا الهدف استخدمت الدراسة أسلوب التحليل القياسي من خلال استخدام طريقة المربعات الصغرى المعدلة (Fully Modified Ordinary Least Square) (FMOLS)، وذلك للفترة (1980-2011). وقد أظهرت النتائج تأثيرا معنويا وسالبا للضرائب غير المباشرة، وتأثيرا معنويا وموجبا للإنفاق الرأسمالي على التنافسية السعرية في قطاع الصناعة التحويلية، كما أظهرت النتائج أيضا عدم معنوية تأثير كل من الضرائب المباشرة والإنفاق الجاري على التنافسية السعرية في قطاع الصناعة التحويلية الأردني.
    Keywords: الكلمات الدالة: السياسة المالية، نسبة هامش الربح، السياسة المالية، الصناعة التحويلية.
    JEL: E6 E61 E62
    Date: 2014–05–25

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