nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2014‒10‒22
thirteen papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. Lebanon: Selected Issues By International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
  2. Costs and Returns for the Turkey Enterprise, 1943 By Misner, E.G.
  3. Tracking Progress Toward Sustainable Energy for All in the Middle East and North Africa By Elisa Portale; Joeri de Wit
  4. CO2 emissions, output, energy consumption, and trade in Tunisia By Sahbi Farhani; Anissa Chaibi; Christophe Rault
  5. Morocco: Request for An Arrangement Under the Precautionary and Liquidity Line and Cancellation of the Current Arrangement-Staff Report; Press Release and Statement by the Executive Director for Morocco By International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
  6. The consequences of trade openness on the availability of seafood resources: Methodology and evidence based in the case of Turkey. FOODSECURE working paper no.16. By Basak BAYRAMOGLU; Jean-François JACQUES
  7. The Competitiveness of Global Port-Cities: The Case of Mersin, Turkey By Olaf Merk; Oguz Bagis
  9. Reducing Macroeconomic Imbalances in Turkey By Oliver Röhn; Rauf Gönenç; Vincent Koen; Evren Erdoğan Coşar
  10. The Unfinished Revolution : Bringing Opportunity, Good Jobs and Greater Wealth to All Tunisians By World Bank
  11. Corporate Governance Enforcement in the Middle East and North Africa: Evidence and Priorities By Alissa Amico
  12. Lebanon: 2014 Article IV Consultation-Staff Report; Press Release; and Statement by the Executive Director for Lebanon By International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
  13. Learning the hard way: The effect of violent conflict on student academic achievement By Tilman Brück; Michele Di Maio; Sami H. Miaari

  1. By: International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
    Keywords: Fiscal policy;Syria;Regional shocks;Labor markets;Unemployment;Financial sector;Insurance;Stock markets;Nonbank financial sector;Selected Issues Papers;Lebanon;
    Date: 2014–07–31
  2. By: Misner, E.G.
    Keywords: Livestock Production/Industries,
  3. By: Elisa Portale; Joeri de Wit
    Keywords: Environment - Climate Change Mitigation and Green House Gases Energy - Energy Demand Energy - Energy Production and Transportation Environment - Environment and Energy Efficiency Energy - Energy and Environment
    Date: 2014–09
  4. By: Sahbi Farhani; Anissa Chaibi; Christophe Rault
    Abstract: This article contributes to the literature by investigating the dynamic relationship between carbone dioxide (CO2) emissions, output (GDP), energy consumption, and trade using the bounds testing approach to cointegration and the ARDL methodology for Tunisia over the period 1971-2008. The empirical results reveal the existence of two causal long-run relationships between the variables. In the short-run, there are three unidirectional Granger causality relationships, which run from GDP, squared GDP and energy consumption to CO2 emissions. To check the stability in the parameter of the selected model, CUSUM and CUSUMSQ were used. The results also provide important policy implications.
    Keywords: CO2 emissions, Energy consumption, ARDL bounds testing approach
    JEL: Q56 Q43 C51
    Date: 2014–09–25
  5. By: International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
    Abstract: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Morocco’s economic track record was challenged in recent years by a series of exogenous shocks, to which the authorities responded vigorously. Facing a difficult international environment, the authorities adopted, with the support of the Fund’s Precautionary and Liquidity Line (PLL), a policy program aimed at restoring fiscal and external buffers while strengthening competitiveness and promoting higher and more inclusive growth. The program remained broadly on track and the authorities did not draw on the PLL. The outlook is improving but remains subject to significant downside risks. Growth will slow in 2014, but it is expected to accelerate over the medium term owing to structural reforms and improved global conditions. However, this outlook remains subject to major external risks. A protracted period of slower growth in Europe, a surge in global financial market volatility linked to the exit from unconventional monetary policies in large advanced economies, and higher oil prices resulting from geopolitical tensions could significantly degrade the balance of payments. The authorities are requesting a two-year successor PLL arrangement with a lower access (550 percent of quota) than the first arrangement. The current PLL has provided useful insurance against external risks while anchoring the authorities’ reform agenda and sending positive signals to markets. Given significant global risks, a successor arrangement, which the authorities intend to treat as precautionary, would continue to support their policies. The lower access reflects the strengthening of the economy in the past two years as well as a balance of risks lower than two years ago. Staff considers that Morocco continues to qualify for a PLL arrangement and recommends the approval of the authorities’ request. The proposed arrangement carries low risks to the Fund and would have minimal impact on the Fund’s liquidity were the authorities to draw on the full amount available. The authorities’ policy package provides reasonable prospects of exit at the end of this arrangement if external circumstances warrant.
    Keywords: Precautionary and Liquidity Line;Fiscal policy;Fiscal reforms;Monetary policy;Reserves;Economic indicators;Debt sustainability analysis;Staff Reports;Letters of Intent;Extended arrangement cancellations;Press releases;Morocco;
    Date: 2014–08–05
  6. By: Basak BAYRAMOGLU; Jean-François JACQUES
    Abstract: In this study, we investigate whether the trade in fish and fish prod- ucts contributed to the decline of 57 fish species observed from 1996 to 2009 in Turkey. Our aim is to test the theoretical prediction that trade liberalization in the presence of open access resources can lead to a re- duction in harvest at the long-run due to stock depletion. To this end, we carry out an instrumental variable estimation for a panel data model.
    JEL: C23 Q22 Q27 Q56
  7. By: Olaf Merk; Oguz Bagis
    Abstract: This working paper offers an evaluation of the performance of the port of Mersin, an analysis of the impact of the port on its territory and an assessment of policies and governance in this field. It examines port performance over the last decades and identifies the principal factors that have contributed to it. The effect of the ports on economic and environmental questions is studied and quantified where possible. The value added of the port cluster of Mersin is calculated and its interlinkages with other economic sectors in Turkey delineated. The major policies governing the ports are assessed, along with policies governing transport and economic development, the environment and spatial planning. These include measures instituted by the port authorities, as well as by local, regional and national governments. Governance mechanisms at these different levels are described and analysed. Based on the report’s findings, recommendations are proposed with a view to improving port performance and increasing the positive effects of the port of Mersin on its territory.
    Keywords: transportation, regional development, ports, input-output, urban growth, regional growth, inter-regional trade
    JEL: D57 L91 R11 R12 R15 R41
    Date: 2013–02–20
  8. By: Shahla Seifi (De Montfort University, UK); David Crowther (De Montfort University, UK)
    Abstract: By the start of spring 2013 when nature manifests its beauty freely to the world and the hidden seeds show off from the soil, Saudi Arabia requires some communication tools such as skype, whatsup and wiber to reveal any communication inside this country to the government authorities otherwise they won’t be able to provide more service in Saudi Arabia. The UK government want to achieve the same end but are facing stronger and more vociferous guardians of individual freedom. What is right and what is ethical? Should we get the example of spring and be transparent in everything even our private communication and therefore obey the principles of social responsibility including transparency. Or instead should we pay respect to personal rights for keeping their private conversations confidential. What is the limit of transparency. Is Saudi Arabia seeking social responsibility in urging these companies to reveal the personal conversations? Are the manufacturing companies seeking ethical norms when they claim that transparency conflicts to their competing abilities? TQM respects confidentiality as a rule of productive group work and ISO 26000 talks about transparency as a rule of being socially responsible. Who is right and who is wrong? There are standards already existing in the world in different levels of national and international about social responsibility but when an issue like this happen it might occur to your mind that what is really the role of these standards and are they really of any importance to the governments. Is Saudi Arabia obeying international norms to impose skype to reveal the personal communication? If not then what is the use of formulating standards? Who should care for the governance of ethics internationally? These are difficult questions which cannot be answered satisfactorily until they are recognised and addressed. In this paper we make a start on doing so.
    Date: 2013–09
  9. By: Oliver Röhn; Rauf Gönenç; Vincent Koen; Evren Erdoğan Coşar
    Abstract: Turkey recovered swiftly from the global financial crisis but sizeable macroeconomic imbalances arose in the process. High consumer price inflation and a wide current account deficit are sources of vulnerability. Even though below-potential growth helps rebalancing and disinflation, these imbalances endure. The financial sector still looks resilient thanks to buffers built up mainly prior to the financial crisis. However, private sector balance sheet risks have gained prominence as leverage increased. Macroeconomic and structural policy levers need to steer a passage between robust but externally unsustainable growth and externally viable but low growth. Monetary policy needs to bring inflation and inflation expectations closer to target. Macroprudential policies could more systematically lean against capital inflows and credit cycles to reduce private sector balance sheet vulnerabilities. The fiscal stance is broadly appropriate, but compliance with a multi-year general government spending ceiling would help avoid pro-cyclical loosening in case of revenue surprises and help boost domestic saving. Overall, policies should help reduce the risk of disruptions in capital flows as monetary policy stimulus is being withdrawn in the United States. Réduire les déséquilibres macroéconomiques en Turquie La Turquie s’est remise rapidement de la crise financière mondiale, qui a toutefois laissé dans son sillage des déséquilibres macroéconomiques importants. Le niveau élevé de l’inflation des prix à la consommation et l’ampleur du déficit de la balance courante sont des points de vulnérabilité. Même si une croissance inférieure à son potentiel contribue au rééquilibrage de l’économie et à la désinflation, les déséquilibres perdurent. Le secteur financier paraît encore résilient, grâce aux volants de sécurité constitués pour l’essentiel avant la crise financière, mais les risques entourant les bilans se sont accrus dans le secteur privé à mesure que l’endettement se développait. Les autorités devraient faire jouer les leviers macroéconomiques et structurels pour trouver une voie entre les deux écueils que constituent une croissance robuste mais non tenable extérieurement et une croissance extérieurement viable mais faible. La politique monétaire devrait permettre de rapprocher l’inflation et les anticipations d’inflation de l’objectif. Les politiques macroprudentielles pourraient être plus systématiquement orientées à contre-courant des entrées de capitaux et des cycles du crédit, pour réduire les vulnérabilités des bilans dans le secteur privé. L’orientation budgétaire est globalement appropriée, mais un plafonnement pluriannuel des dépenses des administrations publiques contribuerait, s’il était respecté, à éviter un assouplissement procyclique en cas de surprise au niveau des recettes ainsi qu’à doper l’épargne intérieure. Globalement, l’action des pouvoirs publics devrait aider à réduire le risque de ruptures dans les flux de capitaux, dans le contexte de l’abandon progressif de la politique de relance monétaire des États-Unis.
    Keywords: monetary policy, competitiveness, current account, Turkey, fiscal policy, saving, financial market policy, politique des marchés financiers, politique budgétaire, épargne, politique monétaire, balance courante, Turquie, compétitivité
    JEL: E2 E3 E44 E52 E62 F32 F41 G18 O52
    Date: 2014–09–16
  10. By: World Bank
    Keywords: Competition Policy Social Protections and Assistance International Economics and Trade - Trade Liberalization Social Protections and Labor - Employment and Unemployment Social Protections and Labor - Labor Markets Private Sector Development
    Date: 2014–05
  11. By: Alissa Amico
    Abstract: Corporate governance frameworks in the Middle East and North Africa region have undergone a substantial evolution in the past decade. Better enforcement of corporate governance rules and regulations has in the past three years emerged as both a policy challenge and a priority for the region. This emphasis on better enforcement reflects a number of trends including political changes in some countries of the region, the global call for better surveillance of the adoption of governance rules as well as low investor engagement in the region. This paper examines key developments in public and private corporate governance enforcement in the region. It highlights the growing level of public enforcement as expertise within the securities regulators is growing. The paper provides policy recommendations on specific aspects of governance frameworks such as the treatment of related party transactions and board member responsibilities which - if better regulated - could result in more effective governance enforcement in the region.
    Keywords: enforcement, corporate governance, Middle East and North Africa, investor engagement, company law, securities regulator, listing requirements, stock exchange, commercial courts, minority shareholder, shareholder rights, redress, board appointment
    JEL: G38 K22 K42
    Date: 2014–09–30
  12. By: International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
    Abstract: KEY ISSUES Context: The economy is being severely tested by the Syria crisis. The refugee influx has reached one quarter of the population, fueling already high unemployment and poverty. The political impasse from the presidential elections—following months of negotiations over a new government—adds to the uncertainty. The economy is meanwhile suffering from a broad-based deterioration, with subdued growth and widening fiscal imbalances. Public debt is on the rise. Progress on structural reforms has been limited. On the positive side, deposit inflows have held up and foreign exchange reserves are sizeable; and security conditions have significantly improved, lifting tourism prospects. Key challenges: There is an urgent need for fiscal adjustment to achieve a sustainable debt reduction, and structural reforms to boost growth and address social inequities. Key policy recommendations: • Fiscal policy. The immediate priority is to stop the fiscal deterioration and return to primary surpluses, to avoid a possible loss of market confidence and put debt on a sustainable path. The consolidation strategy should minimize the impact of a planned salary increase for the public sector; include broad-based and non- distortionary revenue measures; and rebalance expenditure away from electricity transfers toward capital and social spending, to promote inclusive growth. Passing a budget for 2014 would help anchor confidence. Fiscal management should be strengthened and anchored in a medium-term perspective. • Monetary policy. The Banque du Liban (BdL) should continue to maintain high foreign exchange reserves as a buffer and signal of commitment to macro-financial stability. It should gradually withdraw from T-bill auctions, and adopt a strategy to improve its balance sheet over time. • Financial sector. Capital buffers should be strengthened, and the loan classification and restructuring rules and the AML/CFT regime further enhanced. • Structural reforms. Reforms in the electricity sector and the labor market are imperative to address current competitiveness pressures, lay the foundations for higher-productivity growth, and improve social conditions. • Refugee crisis. Lebanon cannot shoulder the costs of the massive inflow of Syrian refugees alone, and international budget support is needed. Strong government commitment to adjustment and reforms—along with a concerted policy framework to deal with the refugee crisis—would bolster credibility and help mobilize support.
    Keywords: Article IV consultation reports;Fiscal policy;Fiscal consolidation;Fiscal reforms;Monetary policy;Bank supervision;Economic indicators;Debt sustainability analysis;Staff Reports;Press releases;Lebanon;
    Date: 2014–07–31
  13. By: Tilman Brück (International Security and Development Center (ISDC)); Michele Di Maio (University of Naples); Sami H. Miaari (Tel-Aviv University)
    Abstract: We study the effect of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the probability to pass the final high-school exam for Palestinian students in the West Bank during the Second Intifada (2000-2006). By exploiting within school variation in the number of conflict-related Palestinian fatalities during the academic year, we show that the conflict reduces the probability to pass the final exam and to be admitted to the university. We also provide evidence of the heterogeneous effects of the conflict in terms of ability of the student and type of violent event the student is exposed to. Finally, we discuss possible transmission mechanisms explaining our main result.
    Keywords: academic achievement, high-school, Second Intifada, violent conflict, fatalities, West Bank, Palestine, Israel
    JEL: I20 O15 F51
    Date: 2014–09

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