nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2014‒12‒24
seventeen papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. Ownership Structure and Firm Performance in the Egyptian Manufacturing Sector By Ahmed Fayez Abdelgouad; Christian Pfeifer; John P. Weche Gelübcke
  2. Health Expenditure, education and Economic Growth in MENA Countries By Lacheheb, Miloud; Med Nor, Norashidah; Baloch, Imdadullah
  3. Art as an alternative asset class: Risk and return characteristics of the Middle Eastern & Northern African art markets By Kräussl, Roman
  4. Grin and Bear It: Producer-financed Exports from an Emerging Market By Demir, Banu; Javorcik, Beata
  5. District Policy being ahead of the Urban in Integrated Planning of Metropolitan Municipalities in Turkey, the Example of Konya By Sinan Levend; Rahmi Erdem
  6. The Relationships between Living Conditions and Life Satisfaction of Elderly People in Istanbul By Lale Berkoz
  7. More Jobs, Better Jobs : A Priority for Egypt By World Bank
  8. Strengthening Governance and Institutions in MENA : Issues and Priorities By Guenter Heidenhof
  9. The Performance of Portfolios Based on Analysts' Recommendations: the Tunisian Case By Raphaëlle BELLANDO; Zahra BEN BRAHAM; Sébastien GALANTI
  10. Women and political change: Evidence from the Egyptian revolution By Nelly EL MALLAKH; Mathilde MAUREL; Biagio SPECIALE
  11. Analyzing the Effect of Real Exchange Rate on Petrochemicals Exporting By Delavari, Majid; Baranpour, Naghmeh; Abdeshahi, Abbas
  12. Natural Disasters in MENA : A Regional Overview By Franck Bousquet
  13. The Global Environment Facility in MENA By Dominique Isabelle Kayser; Song Li; Suiko Yoshijima
  14. A solution to urban sprawl: Management of urban regeneration by smart growth By Neslihan Sag; Aykut Karaman
  15. An Optimization Model for Urban Readjustment and Subdivision Regulations in Turkey By Mehmet Kucukmehmetoglu; Abdurrahman Geymen
  16. Impacts of International Trade and Logistics Industry on Urban Land Use in Mersin By fikret zorlu
  17. Evading terror? Terror Attacks and Internal Migration in Israel By Johanna von Borstel; Tom Gobien; Duncan Roth

  1. By: Ahmed Fayez Abdelgouad (Leuphana University Lueneburg); Christian Pfeifer (Leuphana University Lueneburg); John P. Weche Gelübcke (Leuphana University Lueneburg; Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit (IZA), Germany)
    Abstract: We use the World Bank enterprise survey for the Egyptian manufacturing sector to study the correlation between the ownership structure (private vs. public, Egyptian vs. Arab foreign vs. non-Arab foreign) and firm performance, which we measure as sales per worker, capacity utilization, and net profit rate. Our main findings indicate that (1) productivity differences between Egyptian private and public firms are not significant, but firms with public ownership have a lower capacity utilization and a lower net profit rate than private firms, (2) firms with private Arab and private non-Arab foreign ownership are significantly more productive and have a higher capacity utilization than purely Egyptian owned firms, and (3) differences between Arab and non-Arab foreign ownership are not significant for productivity and capacity utilization, but firms with non-Arab foreign ownership have a higher net profit rate than firms with Arab foreign or Egyptian owners.
    Date: 2014–09
  2. By: Lacheheb, Miloud; Med Nor, Norashidah; Baloch, Imdadullah
    Abstract: This study examines the relationship between health expenditure, education and economic growth in MENA countries using panel data estimation. Our results based on random effect estimation endorse a relationship between health expenditure, education and economic growth. Data were obtained from the World Bank Development Indicators for the period of 1995 to 2010 for 20 countries from Middle East and North Africa region. Importantly, our results reveal that health expenditure and education have significantly positive effect on economic growth. Also gross fixed capital formation positively, but insignificantly, related to economic growth of MENA countries. Therefore, investment in human capital, namely health and education, will increase income in these countries.
    Keywords: Economic growth; Education; Health expenditure; MENA countries
    JEL: E61 I1 I15 I25
    Date: 2014–06–06
  3. By: Kräussl, Roman
    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
  4. By: Demir, Banu; Javorcik, Beata
    Abstract: This study uses a unique dataset to provide the first comprehensive test of the theory of export financing. We extend the existing literature by drawing attention to the theoretical and empirical relationship between the extent of competition in the export market and the choice of financing terms. Our dataset covers the universe of Turkey's exports disaggregated by product, destination, and financing terms for the period 2004-2011. Our identification strategy takes advantage of an exogenous shock, namely, the end of the Multi-Fibre Arrangement (MFA), a system of bilateral quotas governing the global trade in textiles and clothing until January 1, 2005. The analysis, based on a difference-in-differences approach, suggests that exporter-financed exports to the European Union disproportionately increased, relative to importer or bank-financed exports, in the post-MFA period in products where Turkish competitors initially faced binding quotas. As Turkey was not bound by EU quotas before the end of the MFA, these results are consistent with an increase in competition pushing Turkish exporters to offer trade financing. Our results also support the other theoretical predictions. They indicate that the prevalence of exporter-financed exports (relative to exports on other financing terms) increases with the institutional quality in the importing country, with this effect being stronger for differentiated products. Exporter-financed exports are also more likely to be destined for countries with a less efficient banking sector.
    Keywords: competition; Great Recession; Multi-Fibre Arrangement; trade financing
    JEL: F14 F36
    Date: 2014–09
  5. By: Sinan Levend; Rahmi Erdem
    Abstract: This study aims at analyzing the impacts of administrative problems resulting from the two level form of urban government whose framework is outlined in the Law for Metropolitan Municipalities, over the notion of integrated planning. It is suggested that it would be impossible to mention a sustainable integrated planning notion since the institutions entitled to planning within the metropolitan municipalities are not always in coordination. Within the scope of this study, first the provisions of the Law for Metropolitan Municipalities were reviewed; afterwards the process regarding the chosen sample area was discussed accordingly. The method of this research was based on the elaborate analysis of both the sample area and of the Law on Metropolitan Municipalities. At the end of the study, it was concluded that the problems results from the integrated planning of Konya, the share of planning authorization among the levels, the fact that the metropolitan municipal council consists totally of district municipal council members and the existence of certain discrepancies in the law's content in terms of authorities and responsibilities required for planning metropolitan areas. In the final part of the study, solutions for the identified problems were offered. Keywords: Urban Government, Urban Politics, Metropolitan Municipality, Konya-Turkey
    Keywords: Urban Government; Urban Politics; Metropolitan Municipality; Konya-Turkey
    Date: 2014–11
  6. By: Lale Berkoz
    Abstract: The Relationships between Living Conditions and life satisfaction of elderly people in Istanbul Lale BERKOZ, Funda YÃRMÃBESOGLU ITU, Faculty of Architecture Department of Urban and Regional Planning Taksim, Taþkýþla, 34437, Ãstanbul e-mail: The rate of the elderly population increases rapidly throughout the world. The growth rate of the elderly population in the world is 2.1%, whereas the overall population growth rate is over 1.2 % (Mandiraoglu, 2010). The elderly population rate in the United States varies between 15% and 20 %. However, the elderly population rate in Turkey has not reached the level of developed western countries. Although the population rate of those who are 60 and over in Turkey was 5.9% in 1950, it has risen to 7.0% in 1990 and 8.4% in 2000. Today this rate is about 10%. For the coming of aging society, the life satisfaction for the elderly people are very important. Satisfaction is the sense of fulfillment resulting from meeting the needs and demands. Life satisfaction refers to the individual's positive evaluation of his/her life as a whole. Life satisfaction, in other words, subjective quality of life, is a major element of quality aging (TSI, 2004). Along with the health issues that arise with old age, the elderly also encounter problems adapting to the changing urban space, which has not been constructed considering their needs. By creating livable spatial environments, it is especially important to provide the elderly and the disabled with suitable, comfortable and safe living spaces. In this sense, considering universal designing criteria in creating urban strategies can help form and maintain healthy cities. There are a few studies analyzing the life quality of the elderly in Turkey. This study is aimed at investigating the relationships between the living conditions and life satisfaction of the elderly in Istanbul. In the scope of this study 410 questionnaires have been made in face to face interviews of elderly people in residential areas in the districts of Bakýrkoy, Kadýkoy and Besiktas. While selecting these samples, questionnaire quota has been applied proportional to the population of each district and elderly people population. The reason why these districts were selected is the rate of the elderly population in the related areas which is twice as much as the average of Istanbul. Key Words: Life satisfaction, life quality, elderly people, Istanbul, H131
    Keywords: Life satisfaction; life quality; elderly people; Istanbul;
    Date: 2014–11
  7. By: World Bank
    Keywords: Finance and Financial Sector Development - Access to Finance Health, Nutrition and Population - Population Policies Economic Theory and Research Social Protections and Labor - Labor Policies Social Protections and Labor - Labor Markets Macroeconomics and Economic Growth
    Date: 2014–06
  8. By: Guenter Heidenhof
    Keywords: Public Sector Corruption and Anticorruption Measures Corruption and Anticorruption Law Governance - Governance Indicators Governance - National Governance Economic Policy Institutions and Governance Macroeconomics and Economic Growth Law and Development Public Sector Development
    Date: 2014–01
  9. By: Raphaëlle BELLANDO; Zahra BEN BRAHAM; Sébastien GALANTI
    Keywords: , Financial Analyst Recommendations , Broker , Emerging Stock Markets , Portfolio
    Date: 2014
  10. By: Nelly EL MALLAKH (FERDI); Mathilde MAUREL (Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne CNRS - Université Paris 1); Biagio SPECIALE (FERDI)
    Abstract: We analyze the effects of the 2011 Egyptian revolution on the relative labor market conditions of women and men using panel information from the Egypt Labor Market Panel Survey (ELMPS). We construct our measure of intensity of the revolution – the governorate-level number of martyrs, i.e. demonstrators who died during the protests - using unique information from the Statistical Database of the Egyptian Revolution. We find that the revolution has reduced the gender gap in labor force participation, employment, and probability of working in the private sector, and it has caused an increase in women’s probability of working in the informal sector. The political change has affected mostly the relative labor market outcomes of women in households at the bottom of the pre-revolution income distribution. We link these findings to the literature showing how a relevant temporary shock to the labor division between women and men can have long run consequences on the role of women in society.Online Appendix :
    JEL: J16 J21 J22 J30
    Date: 2014–12
  11. By: Delavari, Majid; Baranpour, Naghmeh; Abdeshahi, Abbas
    Abstract: The export of petrochemical products -as a type of non-oil export- plays a key role in the economic development of our country. This is of special importance in light of the structure of Iran's economy that is oil-based. Identifying the factors affecting the export of petrochemical products can improve their export. Using Johansen-Juselius co-integration method and the error correction model, the present study purports to investigate the effects of the real foreign exchange rate and the total value of petrochemical products on the export of these products in Iran. This research used data from 1989 to 2012. It was found that the real foreign exchange rate and the real value of total petrochemical products positively affect their export in the long run, and the effect of the former is greater than that of the latter. However, in the short run the effect of the foreign exchange rate on the export of petrochemical products is more significant.
    Keywords: Real Exchange Rate, Non-Oil Exporting, Petrochemicals, Johansen-Juselius Method, ECM Model.
    JEL: C22 C65 Q42 Q43
    Date: 2014–11–30
  12. By: Franck Bousquet
    Keywords: Insurance and Risk Mitigation Urban Development - Hazard Risk Management Environment - Natural Disasters Conflict and Development - Disaster Management Health, Nutrition and Population - Population Policies Finance and Financial Sector Development
    Date: 2013–09
  13. By: Dominique Isabelle Kayser; Song Li; Suiko Yoshijima
    Keywords: Environment - Climate Change Mitigation and Green House Gases Water Resources - Wetlands Environment - Environment and Energy Efficiency Energy - Energy and Environment Environmental Economics and Policies
    Date: 2013–11
  14. By: Neslihan Sag; Aykut Karaman
    Abstract: Uncontrolled and sprawling growth in physical space is one of the primary problems of metropolitan cities. Urban sprawl, which can be defined as the rapid peripheral growth of cities, is criticized in terms of leading problems such as occupying cultivated areas and environment, removing away many advantages provided by natural open spaces, increasing transport costs, and transforming city centers into decayed areas. Smart growth, which is one of the important agenda topics of planning, creates an opportunity in terms of determining reuse strategies and priorities of urban area. Smart growth refers readdressing of urban macroform and land use preferences by emphasizing economic and environmental dimensions of spatial organization. Smart growth involves indicators that can be used for all cities for ensuring social, economic and physical sustainability required by urban regeneration. This is an explanatory study suggesting use of smart growth principles in urban regeneration. This study is composed of two stages. At the first one, project specific matrix for smart growth is created by making literature investigation in sources dealing with international approaches and practice examples. At the second one, how the proposed development affects the surroundings is evaluated by project specifics matrix. By taking advantage of the matrix, positive or negative aspects of the project and the level of being successful is evaluated in terms of principles take advantage of compact building design, preserve open space farmland, natural beauty, and critical environmental areas as well as strengthen and direct development towards existing communities. Under these titles, following principles are also dealt with: convenience of the projects to high scale plan decisions; parallelism with preservation strategies and development strategies of the city; distribution of density decisions; compact design features; protection of existing areas, nature protection strategies, using brownfield or decayed areas, etc. Three urban regeneration projects, which are the biggest and the most important practices in Konya, the 6th metropolitan city of Turkey in terms of population, are selected for case study. The main determinant of selection of Konya is the fact that the metropolitan city has started to experience urban regeneration period quickly but with problems, and the city has unnecessarily sprawled. The most important difference of the study is the creation of a guideline which will evaluate the management of urban regeneration being applied in Turkey and its effects on the cities as a solution for urban sprawl.
    Keywords: urban sprawl; smart growth; urban regeneration
    Date: 2014–11
  15. By: Mehmet Kucukmehmetoglu; Abdurrahman Geymen
    Abstract: Rapid urbanization in Turkey has resulted in various problems in urban spaces such as squatter houses, substandard subdivisions, and low-quality urban environment. In order to facilitate self-motivated developments, government has enacted various laws and bylaws and made amendments in current legal frameworks. The 18th Article (Dough Rule) of the Land and Building Development Law (İmar Kanunu) has various and extensive applications in regulating and restructuring cadastral properties. One of the major goals of this law and associated bylaw (bylaw on land readjustment) is to prepare standard high quality subdivision lots with regard to zoning plans. However, there are a series of legal and practical difficulties, and legal dilemmas in allocating the properties among various land owners: First, because, neither local nor the central government has financial capability to confiscate private properties for road networks and public land uses, the government proportionally (maximum 40%) confiscates properties without paying the cost of expropriation. Implicitly, the current law assumes that land owners take the monetary advantage of being in the well-designed planned subdivision and having standard lot(s). Second, allocation from cadastral properties to the standard lots neither provides each owner a unique private lot(s) in the planned subdivision, and nor guarantees that every land owner acquires a piece of land in the same location (spot) before the readjustment process. Although there are certain rules for reallocation in the bylaw, the reallocation is open to harsh disputes and often leads to court cases. This study develops a new approach to reallocate properties to minimize the adversaries and maximize the property owners' desires. The developed optimization technique, first, considers the main principles of the bylaw, and second, finds the best allocation solution for relevant property owners. As an illustrative example, one of the allocation problem is revisited and the difference between model and actual case is reviewed. It has been understood that the developed optimization technique is a practical tool for this kind of problems.
    JEL: R00
    Date: 2014–11
  16. By: fikret zorlu
    Abstract: The progress in logistics industry is highly dependent upon international and domestic trade performance of a city. In the literature various studies deal with economic development and its influence on urban growth and land use. Agglomeration theory and cluster theory try to identify the factors of physical concentration and networking characteristics of an specific industry at regional and local scale. This study deals with logistics industry, its relation with international trade and impacts on urban development. Logistics industry is dependent to certain transport infrastructures (port, highway, railway), investment areas (warehouses, truck terminals, delivery center, transport terminals), social capital (skilled labor), operational capacity (fleet size, sub-contracting companies) and land uses (availability of land, land prices, accessibility). This study deals with the role of international trade and logistics industry on urban land use formation in Mersin, Turkey. In Turkey, international trade figures show a gradual growth and hence logistics industry is one of the leading activities of regional economy. Logistics industry in Mersin showed remarkable developments both in terms of variety and scale of activities; therefore, it may refer to a distinct category of economic development of the city. In the last decades both domestic and international trade showed notable growth and geographic concentrations of logistics firms and specialized labor are interrelated to dynamics of trade activities. This study investigates spatial distribution and hierarchal classification of logistic centers, terminals and activities in the city. Urban development and land use of the city at eastern edge are mostly dominated by logistics industry. Location strategies and concentration patterns of 64 logistics companies and their relative influence on urban land use are investigated. Location criteria for the companies are: availability of physical infrastructure, logistics service capacity and possibilities of development. Logistics terminals, truck arks and warehouses are concentrated on the eastern part of the city. Compared to other factors, land availability, accessibility to highway are regarded as most significant factors of location. Finally, companies are classified into three groups according to capacity utilization performances, improvement strategies and location preferences. Land use and location of logistics activities are related to firm strategies. Research findings show three strategies: increasing rates of capacity utilization, technology and capacity improvement and new investment.
    Keywords: logistics; trade; urban development; cluster
    JEL: R12 R14
    Date: 2014–11
  17. By: Johanna von Borstel; Tom Gobien; Duncan Roth
    Abstract: This paper empirically analyses the relationship between terror incidents and internal migration in Israel. Using a newly created database of region-to-region migration flows for the years 1998-2012, the empirical model regresses the annual flow of migrants from an origin subdistrict to a destination subdistrict on measures of terror incidents in the origin and the destination, respectively. The results indicate that terror in the destination subdistrict acts as a deterrent to migration into that region, whereas we find no evidence in support of the hypothesis that terror brings about outmigration.
    JEL: D74 J61
    Date: 2014–11

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