nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2014‒11‒17
eleven papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. Ownership Structure and Corporate Governance in the Case of Turkey By Ozsoz, Emre; Gurarda, Sevin; Ates, Abidin
  2. Unemployment Flows, Participation, and the Natural Rate for Turkey By Sengul, Gonul; Tasci, Murat
  3. Unemployment Flows, Participation and the Natural Rate for Turkey By Gonul Sengul; Murat Tasci
  4. Wage Inequality and Wage Mobility in Turkey By Aysit Tansel; Basak Dalgic; Aytekin Güven
  5. Art as an Aternative Asset Class: Risk and Return Characteristics of the Middle Eastern & Northern African Art Markets By Roman Kräussl
  6. Descriptive Analysis of Economic Diversification, Price and Revenue Dynamics in Oil and Energy in the Arab World By Driouchi, Ahmed; El Alouani, Hajar; Gamar, Alae
  7. Hofstede’s Cultural Indicators, Knowledge Economy and Entrepreneurship in Arab Countries By Driouchi, Ahmed; Gamar, Alae
  8. The Nexus between Inflation and Inflation Uncertainty via Wavelet Approach: Some Lessons from Egyptian Case By Bouoiyour, Jamal; Selmi, Refk
  9. The Egyptian Information Technology Sector and the Role of Intellectual Property: Economic Assessment and Recommendations By Knut Blind; Tim Pohlmann; Florian Ramel; Sacha Wunsch-Vincent
  10. Employment Growth, Productivity and Jobs reallocations in Tunisia: A Microdata Analysis By Mohamed Ali Marouani; Rim Mouelhi
  11. The Rentier State/Resource Curse narrative and the state of the Arabian Gulf By Rutledge, Emilie

  1. By: Ozsoz, Emre; Gurarda, Sevin; Ates, Abidin
    Abstract: Turkey is one of the eight countries that currently have a corporate governance index for firms listed on its main stock exchange (Borsa Istanbul). As in the case of many emerging markets, the country’s business landscape is characterized by family owned conglomerates some of which have recently become a favorite target for foreign direct and portfolio investment. By using corporate governance data on 22 publicly traded Turkish companies we estimate the determinants of corporate governance ratings for these companies with a focus on ownership structure. Our results show that family ownership has a negative impact on corporate governance ratings while foreign ownership has a weak but positive effect.
    Keywords: Corporate Governance, Turkish companies, Ownership Structure
    JEL: G3 G32 L20
    Date: 2014–09–03
  2. By: Sengul, Gonul (Istanbul School of Central Banking and the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey); Tasci, Murat (Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland)
    Abstract: This paper measures flow rates into and out of unemployment for Turkey and uses them to estimate the unemployment rate trend, that is, the unemployment rate to which the economy converges in the long run. In doing so, the paper explores the role of labor force participation in determining the unemployment rate trend. We find an inverse V-shaped pattern for Turkey’s unemployment rate trend over time, currently between 8.5 percent and 9 percent, with an increasing labor market turnover. We also find that allowing an explicit role for participation changes the results substantially, initially reducing the â€natural†rate but getting closer to the baseline over time. Finally, we show that this parsimonious model can be used to forecast unemployment in Turkey with relative ease and accuracy.
    Keywords: unemployment; unemployment flows; labor force participation; Turkey
    JEL: E24 E32 J64
    Date: 2014–10–27
  3. By: Gonul Sengul; Murat Tasci
    Abstract: This paper measures flow rates into and out of unemployment for Turkey and uses these rates to estimate the unemployment rate trend, that is the level of the unemployment rate the economy converges to in the long-run. In doing so, the paper explores the role of the labor force participation in determining the trend unemployment. We find an inverse V-shaped pattern for the unemployment rate trend over time in Turkey, currently standing between 8.5 and 9 percent, with an increasing labor market turnover. We also find that allowing for an explicit role for participation changes the results substantially, reducing the “natural” rate at first, but then getting closer to the baseline over time. Finally, we show that this parsimonious model can be used for forecasting unemployment in Turkey with relative ease and accuracy.
    Keywords: Firm size, Wage gap, Informal job, Wage posting, Subgame perfection, Taxes, Social networks
    JEL: E24 E32 J64
    Date: 2014
  4. By: Aysit Tansel (Department of Economics, METU; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) Bonn, Germany; Economic Research Forum (ERF) Cairo, Egypt); Basak Dalgic (Department of Public Finance, Hacettepe University); Aytekin Güven (Department of Economics, Abant Izzet Baysal University)
    Abstract: This paper investigates wage inequality and wage mobility in Turkey using the Surveys on Income and Living Conditions (SILC). This is the first paper that explores wage mobility for Turkey. It differs from the existing literature by providing analyses of wage inequality and wage mobility over various socioeconomic groups such as gender, age, education and sector of economic activity. We first present an overview of the evolution of wages and wage inequality over the period 2005-2011. Next, we compute several measures of wage mobility and explore the link between wage inequality and wage mobility. Further, we compute the transition matrices which show movements of individuals across the wage distribution from one period to another and investigate the determinants of transition probabilities using a multinomial logit model. The results show that overall the real wages increased over the study period and wage inequality exhibits a slight increase.. Wage inequality is one of the highest among the European Union (EU) countries. The wage mobility in Turkey is lower than what is observed in the European Union countries although it increases as time horizon expands. Wage mobility has an equalizing impact on the wage distribution, however; this impact is not substantial enough to overcome the high and persistent wage inequality in Turkey.
    Keywords: Wage Inequality, Wage Mobility, Heterogeneity, Turkey.
    JEL: D31 D63 J31 J60
    Date: 2014–11
  5. By: Roman Kräussl (LSF)
    Abstract: This chapter analyzes the risk and return characteristics of investments in artists from the Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA) region over the sample period 2000 to 2012. With hedonic regression modeling we create an annual index that is based on 3,544 paintings created by 663 MENA artists. Our empirical results prove that investing in such a hypothetical index provides strong financial returns. While the results show an exponential growth in sales since 2006, the geometric annual return of the MENA art index is a stable13.9 percent over the whole period. We conclude that investing in MENA paintings would have been profitable but also note that we examined the performance of an emerging art market that has only seen an upward trend without any correction, yet.
    Keywords: Alternative investments, Art price index, Optimal Asset Allocation
    JEL: G11 Z11
    Date: 2014
  6. By: Driouchi, Ahmed; El Alouani, Hajar; Gamar, Alae
    Abstract: Abstract The present paper looks at the descriptive side of the economy of oil and energy in the Arab countries. It addresses the contours of these economies in relation to diversification and trading patterns and shows the limited diversification but high concentration of exports towards oil and gas in part of these countries. The paper addresses also the dynamic processes of gas and oil revenues with their time trends. It also attempts linking revenues to international oil prices before tackling the current status of renewable energy. The attained outcomes show clearly how non-oil exporters are exhibiting patterns that are different from the exporting countries of the Gulf. This latter set of economies is benefiting from oil price stability during the past recent years and ensuring thus, a stable revenue formation in comparison with other economies in the region. With regard to renewable energy, non-oil exporting countries are more active in the search of new energy alternatives.
    Keywords: Keywords: Oil, Gas and exhaustible sources of energy, trade concentration, other sources of energy
    JEL: Q3 Q37 Q4
    Date: 2014–10–20
  7. By: Driouchi, Ahmed; Gamar, Alae
    Abstract: Abstract: This paper looks at the links between cultural variables, knowledge indices and entrepreneurship in Arab countries. It uses the Hofstede’s cultural dimensions and World Bank data to show how these variables are connected. The outputs from Arab countries are also compared to those from the Eastern European economies. The outcomes do clearly indicate the existence of links between cultural dimensions, access to knowledge and enterprise creation with of a gap between Arab and Eastern European Economies. The results show also that entrepreneurship is linked to cultural variables in Arab countries. This implies that further economic and social policies are needed to ensure the promotion of the culture of the knowledge economy and entrepreneurship in Arab countries.
    Keywords: Keywords: Hofstede dimensions, Knowledge economy, Entrepreneurship, Arab countries, Eastern Europe
    JEL: L2 O1
    Date: 2014–09–20
  8. By: Bouoiyour, Jamal; Selmi, Refk
    Abstract: The nexus between inflation and its uncertainty has been a topic of wide dispute. Using wavelet decomposition and with special reference to Egypt for the period 1960-2013, we find that the focal relationship varies substantially among the different frequencies involved. In the short-run, inflation expands inflation uncertainty and vice versa. In the medium term, higher inflation leads to greater volatility, while there is no evidence of significant link in the long-run. The main causes of these mixed outcomes have been organized into demand pull factors, cost push ones and the possible reflect of the conflicting underlying objectives pursued to avoid political pitfalls and the great instability that unfolded since 25th January 2011.
    Keywords: Inflation; inflation uncertainty; wavelet approach; Egypt.
    JEL: C1 C6 E3
    Date: 2014–10
  9. By: Knut Blind (Berlin University of Technology, Faculty of Economics and Management, and Chair of Innovation Economics, Fraunhofer Institute for Open Communication Systems FOKUS Public Innovation, Berlin, Germany.); Tim Pohlmann (Berlin University of Technology, Faculty of Economics and Management, Berlin, Germany); Florian Ramel (Berlin University of Technology, Faculty of Economics and Management, Berlin, Germany); Sacha Wunsch-Vincent (Economics and Statistics Division, WIPO)
    Abstract: This paper discusses the state of innovation in the Egyptian information technology sector (IT) and the corresponding role of intellectual property (IP). The Egyptian ICT sector is an important contributor to economic growth and employment. Having established itself as a leading supplier of ICT back office operation and services for multinational enterprises, moving up the value ladder towards the production and exports of higher value-added software and ICT services is now the priority. In this context, this working paper seeks to identify the current and potential role of IP for the Egyptian ICT sector, and the links between IP and innovation and FDI. First, the study describes the key characteristics of the Egyptian ICT sector, including its innovative activities. Second, after a discussion of the role of IP in the ICT industry, it describes what the current use of IP is in Egypt’s ICT sector. Finally, it proposes IP-related policies which could contribute to promoting domestic innovation. It also formulates areas for future research which touch upon the interface of ICT services and business process outsourcing and the role of IP, and the hurdles that low- and middle-income economies face in successfully penetrating the global IT innovation networks.
    Keywords: Egypt, information technology, business process outsourcing, intellectual property, innovation
    JEL: F23 L86 L96 O14 O3
    Date: 2014–06
  10. By: Mohamed Ali Marouani (UMR « Développement et Société », IEDES / Université Paris1-Panthéon-Sorbonne, PSL, Université Paris-Dauphine, LEDa, IRD UMR DIAL); Rim Mouelhi (Université La Manouba, LEFA IHEC Carthage et ERF)
    Abstract: Using a micro database of Tunisian firms, the paper investigates the dynamics of productivity growth, employment and jobs reallocation. The methodology is based on data analysis and regressions. The main findings are that there is a trade-off between employment growth and productivity as it appears that the sectors (services) and firms (the biggest) that create the most jobs are not those characterized by the highest productivity growth. Moreover, we find evidence of a week contribution of structural change to productivity growth. We also show that trade liberalization did not have an impact on jobs reallocation or employment growth. _________________________________ En utilisant une base de données issue d’enquêtes entreprises, le papier analyse la dynamique de croissance de la productivité, de l'emploi et de la réallocation en Tunisie. La méthodologie est basée sur l'analyse de données et des régressions. Les principales conclusions sont qu'il y a un trade-off entre la création d’emplois et la productivité car les secteurs (services) et les entreprises (les plus grandes) qui créent le plus d'emplois ne sont pas ceux qui sont caractérisés par la croissance de la productivité la plus élevée. En outre, nous mettons en évidence la faible contribution du changement structurel à la croissance de la productivité. Nous montrons également que la libéralisation du commerce n'a pas eu d'impact sur la réallocation ou la croissance de l'emploi.
    Keywords: Productivity; employment; jobs reallocations; structural change; Tunisia; Productivité; emploi; réallocation; changement structurel; Tunisie.
    JEL: C12 D22 D24 F16 J23 L16
    Date: 2014–10
  11. By: Rutledge, Emilie
    Abstract: This paper proposes that the Rentier State and Resource Curse theories be considered as two elements of the same paradigm which, despite a growing body of contrary empirical evidence, retains a hegemonic influence in political economy discourse. It will be suggested that a number of reasons account for this, not least, the nature and subject of the “rent†itself. Contemporary notions of rent as essentially constituting unearned and thus unwarranted income, are divorced from a more contextually accurate ‘ground rent’ charge levied for extracting depletable sovereign resources is one. Another is the extent to which the political demonisation of OPEC, combined with the West’s concerted policy response of seeking to liberalise the world oil market in the 1980s and 1990s, is abstracted from the discourse. Moreover, by demonstrating that there is little evidence of the deterministic poverty inducing and deleterious socioeconomic outcomes in the ‘archetypal candidate’ countries of the Arabian Gulf, the utility per se of the RS/RC narrative as a conceptual and/or analytical framework is questioned.
    Keywords: Economic Development and Natural Resources; Middle East; Oil Rent; Rentier State; Resource Curse.
    JEL: N55 O13 O53 Q32 Q43 Q48
    Date: 2014–10–23

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