nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2014‒09‒25
five papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. Asymmetric Exchange Rate and Oil Price Pass-Through in Turkish Fuel Oil Market By Fatih Akcelik; Mustafa Utku Ozmen
  2. Consumer Tendency Survey of Turkey : A Disaggregated Analysis By Ece Oral; Turknur Brand
  3. Local Knowledge Spillovers from International Science and Technology Cooperation: Evidence from EU-Tunisian Framwork Program Cooperation By Juliane Brach; Hatem M’henni
  4. Inequality of opportunity among Egyptian children By Ersado, Lire; Aran, Meltem
  5. Protection of Traditional Knowledge and Origin Products in Developing Countries: Matching Human Rights and IP Protection with Business Development Opportunities By Patrick Martens

  1. By: Fatih Akcelik; Mustafa Utku Ozmen
    Abstract: In this paper, we revisit the unsettled discussion of whether retail fuel oil prices respond asymmetrically to oil price shocks. Using a novel micro approach that considers each price spell separately; we find evidence of pass-through asymmetry in the fuel oil market in Turkey. With our approach it is possible to analyze asymmetry at various other grounds including source and size of the cost shock. We show that exchange rate (oil price) is the main factor fueling asymmetry in case of cost increases (decreases). Also, if the magnitude of positive cost shock is higher, pass-through will be lower. Finally, empirical evidence suggests that pricing behavior in terms of pass-through degree and asymmetry varies across firms. The market power of the firms is suggested as the main explanation of the asymmetry, yet there are factors limiting the use of market power in price setting.
    Keywords: Fuel oil, Oil price, Exchange rate, Pass-through asymmetry, Gasoline, Diesel; Micro data, Turkey
    JEL: D22 D43 E31
    Date: 2014
  2. By: Ece Oral; Turknur Brand
    Abstract: The ability to measure the predictive power of consumer surveys is very important especially for central banks in order to have a forward-looking perspective about consumer tendencies and expenditures. Particularly, most studies have found that diffusion indices obtained from surveys are linked to aggregate GDP or consumer expenditures. Therefore, the performance of prediction can be assessed at an aggregate level via the diffusion indices. On the other hand, our paper, while restricting itself to the evaluation of Turkish data provided by Consumer Tendency Survey (CTS) for the period 2003-2012, differs from previous studies in looking at disaggregated measures of both consumers’ opinion and household’s expenditures. In particular, various demographic characteristics such as employment type, age and income of the people interviewed are considered in this paper. Moreover, as a reference series, different categories of consumption are used (services, food and non-food items) instead of more aggregate measures of economic activity (total consumption, GDP). First of all, the survey results are analyzed monthly and quarterly. The quarterly series, which shows less volatility compared with monthly series, are used in order to examine the leading/coincident relationships with the related reference series; then, we test the significance of these relationships. We also construct regression models. The disaggregated analysis confirms that the CTS-consumption relationship is stronger for different demographic categories of consumers and some specific groups of expenditures than the aggregated categories of consumers.
    Keywords: Consumers, Consumption, Time series, Demographics
    JEL: N3 E2 C1 J11
    Date: 2014
  3. By: Juliane Brach (Research Fellow at Maastricht School of Management and CEO at The Knowledge Company, Germany, E-Mail:; Hatem M’henni (Professor at University of Manouba, Tunisia, E-Mail:
    Abstract: This paper provides and in depth analyses of EU-Tunisian science and technology cooperation. Combining state-of-the-art theoretical background on research and innovation with profound knowledge of the Tunisian research and innovation system. We are discussing the rational of EU-TUN science and technology cooperation and the potential benefits and spillovers for Tunisia. Drawing on a unique data set from a 2012 survey among 137 Tunisian researchers and detailed data on Tunisian participation in the latest two framework programs, we can empirically test the role and materialization of such benefits for the case of EU-TUN science and technology cooperation. We apply both descriptive as well as initial econometric testing and provide policy recommendations at the political as well as at the level of the researcher/research institution.
    Date: 2014–08
  4. By: Ersado, Lire; Aran, Meltem
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the level and trends in inequality of opportunity among Egyptian children during the 2000s. The analysis uses severall tools, including comparison of the distributions of early risks and outcomes across circumstance groups; estimation of the human opportunity index; measurement of the relative contributions of circumstances to inequality of opportunity; and decomposition of changes in inequality of opportunity and factors driving them over time. Egypt has made significant progress in the availability of and access to basic services for children and mothers, in some cases with an overall pro-poor effect. In particular, appreciable improvements have been made in healthcare utilization before and during pregnancy and immunizations. As a result, there has been a decline in inequality of opportunity over the past decade, largely attributable to increased coverage by basic services rather than through redistributive effects. However, there are areas of persistent and emerging concerns, including postnatal care utilization, nutrition, and schooling. Nutrition indicators have deteriorated during the 2000s, affecting a quarter of children regardless of their circumstances. Wide disparities in school enrollment persist, notably at the higher levels. Large regional disparities in access to basic infrastructure exist, with Upper Egypt and the Frontier Governorates lagging the rest of the country. Family background, especially parents'education and wealth, and geographic factors are key factors affecting child development outcomes in Egypt. While interventions targeted at the less advantaged circumstance groups may offer significant potential for enhancing overall equity in postnatal care utilization and schooling, a more inclusive approach would be needed to improve child nutrition outcomes.
    Keywords: Health Monitoring&Evaluation,Population Policies,Primary Education,Early Child and Children's Health,Adolescent Health
    Date: 2014–09–01
  5. By: Patrick Martens (Maastricht School of Management)
    Abstract: This paper is focused on the links between the protection of Traditional Knowledge (TK), including origin products, and local economic development in developing countries. The analytical framework for the paper is based on Amartya Sen‟s elaboration of “development as freedom” in which development is seen as a fundamental human rights issue encompassing protective security, the provision of economic facilities, political freedoms, social opportunities and transparency guarantees (Sen, 1999). Context is provided by criticism of the behavior of multinational companies (MNCs) in developing countries, including allegations of bio-piracy, unfair labor practices and misappropriation of TK and Genetic Resources (GR) from their owners in combination with the growing importance of Corporate Social Responsibility as a business imperative for MNCs as well as civil society activism for human rights in north-south economic relations. Furthermore, owners and holders of TK and GR frequently also have to contend with anti-democratic practices and exploitation by their own governments and local elites thereby underlining the importance of international economic law (IEL). The paper assesses the current situation regarding the protection of TK in IEL, particularly regarding promising initiatives requiring compulsory benefit sharing and prior consultation, with specific reference to case studies of products from developing countries; notably, these products have become integrated into global value chains (which also include MNCs as lead actors). Two particularly relevant cases: argane oil from Morocco and rooibos from South Africa are discussed in relation to Sen‟s „development as freedom‟ framework. These contrasting experiences lead to conclusions being made on the need to strengthen international, regional and national protective legal systems and political freedoms while at the same time providing an appropriate level of development support in the establishment of „economic facilities‟, „transparency guarantees‟ and „social opportunities‟ in Sen‟s terms, including value chain upgrading and well-designed technical assistance.
    Keywords: Development as Freedom, Economic Facilities, Geographical Indications, Intellectual Property Rights, Protective Security, Social Opportunities, Traditional knowledge, Transparency Guarantees
    Date: 2014–09

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