nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2014‒12‒29
twenty-one papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. Electoral politics and regional development: assessing the geographical allocation of public investment in Turkey By Luca, Davide; Rodriguez-Pose, Andres
  2. CGE Assessment of Tourism Policies in Turkey By K.Ali Akkemik; Erisa Dautaj Şenerdem
  3. An integrated analysis of economywide effects of climate change By Dudu, Hasan; Cakmak, Erol H.
  4. Does Secular Education Impact Religiosity, Electoral Participation and the Propensity to Vote for Islamic Parties? Evidence from an Education Reform in a Muslim Country By Resul Cesur; Naci Mocan
  5. A Multilevel Analysis of the Unemployment in Egypt By Eleonora Bertoni; Giorgio Ricchiuti
  6. Arab Development Symposium Second : Invigorating SMEs in the Arab World By Mustapha Rouis; Imed Limam
  7. Evaluation of the Obstacles against the Economic Development of Cihanbeyli Rural Area By Fadim Yavuz; Ayla Bozdað
  8. Assessing Vulnerability to Social and Environmental Changes in West Aegean Coastal Side of Turkey By Senem Kozaman
  9. The Nexus between Inflation and Inflation Uncertainty via Wavelet Approach: Some Lessons from Egyptian Case By Jamal BOUOIYOUR; Refk SELMI
  10. Urban Conservation Policy- the Case of Hamamönü-Ankara-Turkey By Nevin Gültekin
  11. FRIM : A New Tool for Financial Risk Monitoring and MENA By Pietro Calice
  12. Middle East and North Africa Regional Brief By World Bank
  13. Macroinsurance for Microenterprises: A Randomized Experiment in Post-Revolution Egypt By McKenzie, David
  14. Climate change impacts on Moroccan agriculture and the whole economy: An analysis of the impacts of the Plan Maroc Vert in Morocco By Ouraich, Ismail; Tyner, Wallace E.
  15. Public Procurement Reform in Morocco By Rachel Lipson; Salim Benouniche; Abdoulaye Keita; Khadija Faridi
  16. Understanding the dynamics of violent political revolutions in an agent-based framework By Alessandro Moro
  17. MENA Economic and Development Prospects 2013 : Investing in Turbulent Times By Elena Ianchovichina; Shantayanan Devarajan; Martijn Burger
  18. Exporting and Firm Performance: Evidence from a Randomized Trial By David Atkin; Amit K. Khandelwal; Adam Osman
  19. Harnessing the Potential for Green Growth in Kuwait By Mohammed Al-Ahmad; Marwan Dimashki; Samia Al-Duaij; Tom Roundell
  20. Building Legal Aid Services from the Ground Up : Learning from Pilot Initiatives in Jordan By Paul Scott Prettitore
  21. Ticaret Anlaşmalarının Türkiye’nin İhracat Dinamiğine Etkisi: Yaygın ve Yoğun Ticaret By Kemal Türkcan; Erhan Pişkin

  1. By: Luca, Davide; Rodriguez-Pose, Andres
    Abstract: One of the most important decisions that governments face is how to allocate the public resources necessary for development, given each country’s budget constraints. According to the literature on the links between wealth and institutional performance, highly kleptocratic countries are expected to show higher levels of politicisation of the public purse. The article tests the extent to which socioeconomic criteria (equity and efficiency) or electoral concerns determined the geographical distribution of public investment in the 81 provinces of Turkey between 2004 and 2012. Our results show that, although electoral concerns mattered for the allocation, socioeconomic measures remained the most relevant predictors of investment. Moreover, in contrast to official regional development policy principles, the Turkish state tended to favour areas with a higher level of development over those with greater ‘socioeconomic need’. Our results therefore challenge much of the distributive politics literature, which has overly emphasised the role of pork-barrel in public policy-making. At the same time, they underline the need of paying more attention to the political economy of regional development strategies.
    Keywords: distributive politics; political geography; public investments; regional development policies; Turkey
    JEL: H76 O12 O53 R12 R58
    Date: 2014–06
  2. By: K.Ali Akkemik; Erisa Dautaj Şenerdem
    Abstract: Turkey is among top ten countries in the world tourism market in terms of international tourist arrivals and international tourism revenues. Tourism sector has grown rapidly over the last three decades and emerged as an important foreign exchange earner. It is argued that tourism creates opportunities for employment and contributes to economic growth and international tourism revenues compensate part of the current account deficit, which has traditionally been a major source of structural problems in Turkey. Tourism policies, therefore, may have important implications at the macro level. Recently the government published a strategy paper for tourism titled "Tourism Strategy of Turkey - 2023". In this study, we critically analyze the tourism strategy of Turkey using a dynamic applied computable general equilibrium (CGE) model. The model is a multi-sector, multi-country CGE model based on the GTAP model. The model includes 14 sectors and 12 regions. The sectoral disaggregation of the model emphasizes tourism-related activities. We use the GTAP database and run policy simulations to assess alternative tourism strategies as well as the potential impacts of exogenous shocks. The results bear important policy implications for the economy. .
    JEL: C68 L83
    Date: 2014–11
  3. By: Dudu, Hasan; Cakmak, Erol H.
    Abstract: The effects of climate change in Turkey are expected to be significant. The aim of this paper is to quantify the effects of climate change on the overall economy by using an integrated framework incorporating a computable general equilibrium model and a c
    Keywords: agriculture, climate change, computable general equilibrium, integrated assessment, Turkey
    Date: 2014
  4. By: Resul Cesur (University of Connecticut); Naci Mocan (Louisiana State University, NBER and IZA)
    Abstract: Using a unique survey of adults in Turkey, we find that an increase in educational attainment, due to an exogenous secular education reform, decreased women’s propensity to identify themselves as religious, lowered their tendency to wear a religious head cover (head scarf, turban or burka) and increased the tendency for modernity. We also find that education has a negative impact on women’s propensity to vote for Islamic parties. The impact of education on religiosity and voting preference is not working through migration, residential location or labor force participation. There is no statistically significant impact of education on men’s tendency to vote for Islamic parties and education does not influence the propensity to cast a vote in national elections for either men or women.
    Date: 2014–12
  5. By: Eleonora Bertoni (Collegio Carlo Alberto Torino); Giorgio Ricchiuti (Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa)
    Abstract: Despite its recent economic development, Egypt employment inequalities among gender and between different age cohorts are still an unresolved issue. In this work we apply a Multilevel Generalized Linear Mixed Model to the Egyptian Labor Market Panel Survey 2006 (ELMPS 2006) and 2012 (ELMPS 2012). By exploiting the hierarchical structure of the survey data, we investigate how the interplay between individual characteristics and regional context conditions Egyptians' individual probability of being unemployed. Moreover, we attempt to check \textit{if} and \textit{how} these same characteristics have changed between 2006 and 2012, that is, before and after the 2008 global financial crisis and the 2011 Revolution of the Arab world.
    Keywords: Multilevel Generalized Linear Mixed Model; Unemployment probability; Egypt.
    JEL: J01 C19 O1
    Date: 2014
  6. By: Mustapha Rouis; Imed Limam
    Keywords: Finance and Financial Sector Development - Microfinance Small Scale Enterprise Social Protections and Labor - Labor Policies Social Protections and Labor - Labor Markets Private Sector Development - Small and Medium Size Enterprises Industry
    Date: 2014–03
  7. By: Fadim Yavuz; Ayla Bozdað
    Abstract: Cihanbeyli, located in Salt Lake (SL) Basin, is the largest county of Turkey in terms of its area. In total 56.105 people live in the county and its rural population is 7.005. According to data of 2011 year, Cihanbeyli's social development level is at the tenth of 31 counties of the Konya province and the county is among the least developed counties' group. SL basin is an important wetland in Turkey in terms of biodiversity conservation and international criteria. The most important economic activities in the area are agriculture, livestock and industrial salt production. All the cultivated land is reserved for dry farming and vegetable and fruit production is at negligible quantity. Lack of forested areas, existence of barren lands, insufficient water resources for the agriculture with the impact of the SL, Being one of the Turkey's low rainfall areas, transforming the domestic and industrial waste of Konya city directly to the SL's are the negative factors affecting the agriculture in the region. Depending on the threat of drought, significant productivity and quality issues are being experienced in the region's rural area. In the region agricultural production is decreasing due to drought and intense population immigration from the county's rural areas. Desertification caused by SL, furthermore aridity caused by manufacturers' improper fertilizer uses exist in agricultural areas. Range of products is limited as a result of unconscious agricultural production. Wheat, barley and sugar beet are the products commonly grown. By identifying the obstacles against the Cihanbeyli region's economy this study aims to determine sustainable strategies activate/improve agriculture as a main source of income, thereby improve economy of the region. Results are useful in i) referring agricultural activities to the areas have good physical and environmental conditions and may achieve maximum efficiency in countryside, ii) improving non-agricultural uses in the areas are unsuitable for agriculture and low efficient, iii) avoiding the construction and environmental pressures on suitable farmland.
    Keywords: Agricultural land suitability; sustainable economic development; Cihanbeyli; Salt Lake Basin;
    JEL: Q01 Q15 Q18
    Date: 2014–11
  8. By: Senem Kozaman
    Abstract: After 1980's as a result of neo-liberal policies in development strategies of Turkey, coastal areas exposed a massive pressure on its environmental resources. Attractiveness of natural amenities and due to encouragement with regulations for tourism sector development caused population growth and agglomeration of real estate investments in these areas. Also, this process has triggered degradation of environmental values. Paradoxically, the coastal management policies and protection mechanisms gained significance for the sustainability of natural resources. All these mechanisms have revealed the importance of understanding and assessing the vulnerability of these areas with regards to continuing trends of environmental and social change and natural resource consumption that restricts sustainability. From this point of view, this research is focused on the evaluation of vulnerability to these changes in Aegean cost side of Turkey; Izmir - Aydýn - Muðla Provinces. Assessment of vulnerability is based on the definition of IPCC that identify the vulnerability as a function of exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity. With a basic analytical framework, it's assumed that vulnerability will increase as the sensitivity rise and decrease as adaptive capacity improves. Another assumption is built on the concept of sensitivity. It is defined as the changing trends in social and environmental indicators (land-use change, population growth, water and energy consumption, waste generation etc.) that demonstrate pressure and threat to socio-ecological system. Furthermore, exposure component is excluded from the evaluation. Adaptive capacity index is based on normalization of social, economic, environmental, pyhsical, institutional capital indicators and arithmetic means of these components. This framework will help to understand, compare and exhibit a geographical pattern of vulnerability in the study area.
    Keywords: vulnerability; sensitivity; adaptive capacity; social changes; environmental changes; coast; Turkey
    Date: 2014–11
  9. By: Jamal BOUOIYOUR; Refk SELMI
    Abstract: The Nexus between Inflation and Inflation Uncertainty via Wavelet Approach: Some Lessons from Egyptian Case
    Date: 2014–10
  10. By: Nevin Gültekin
    Abstract: As an extension of the urban regeneration process initiated in Turkey during the years of 2000, the concept of renewal-based preservation approach is being implemented through rehabilitation and regeneration projects designed for areas of cultural heritage. Once the capital holders and the political power discovered the financial benefits to be endowed by cultural heritage into the fields of tourism and urban profits, such projects of rehabilitation and regeneration displace the projects of conservation. In this process, instead of the building which is classified as a cultural heritage, the piece of land on which it is located is considered as an area of investment in the real-estate capital market. Therefore, and in line with this consideration, such implementations of demolishing the old buildings and constructing new buildings in their place, or constructing new buildings referencing the past, are supported by laws, even to the extent that legislation alterations are made contrary to conservation. As such, regeneration projects generally implemented utilizing public financing and public mediation are rapidly realized instead of achieving the concept of integrated conservation planning which envisages transparent, participatory, partaker development. Hence, gentrifications turn out to be inevitable through the functional alterations of the cultural heritage areas which are regenerated as touristic, commercial and recreational areas. However, disowning the public and societal benefits targeted at with the concept of conservation, the urban regeneration and/or renewal that slid over to urban value increase concept is evaluated as success in urban conservation. This state will be examined through the Hamamönü area which is registered as a preservation area by law and which is an area that exhibits the traditional, historical and urban weaving of the city of Ankara. Hamamönü project was initiated in the year 2006 and a large proportion of it is completed. The implementation of rehabilitation projects with its different phases and methods were first started to be applied over this area. This area is selected as the case to be studied since it discloses the conservation policies implemented in Turkey.
    Keywords: urban conservation policy; urban rehabilitation; gentrification; Ankara-Turkey
    Date: 2014–11
  11. By: Pietro Calice
    Keywords: Banks and Banking Reform Financial Crisis Management and Restructuring Law and Development - Corporate Law Finance and Financial Sector Development - Bankruptcy and Resolution of Financial Distress Urban Development - Hazard Risk Management
    Date: 2014–08
  12. By: World Bank
    Keywords: Public Sector Corruption and Anticorruption Measures Transport Economics Policy and Planning Macroeconomics and Economic Growth - Regional Economic Development Finance and Financial Sector Development - Debt Markets Health, Nutrition and Population - Population Policies Transport Public Sector Development
    Date: 2013–10
  13. By: McKenzie, David
    Abstract: Firms in many developing countries cite macroeconomic instability and political uncertainty as major constraints to their growth. Economic theory suggests uncertainty can cause firms to delay investments until uncertainty is resolved. We conduct a randomized experiment in post-revolution Egypt to measure the impact of insuring microenterprises against macroeconomic and political uncertainty. Demand for macroeconomic shock insurance was high; 36.7 percent of microentrepreneurs in the treatment group purchased insurance. However, purchasing insurance does not change the likelihood that a business takes a new loan, the size of the loan, or how they invest this loan. We attribute this lack of effect to microenterprises largely investing in inventories and raw materials rather than irreversible investments like equipment. These results suggest that, contrary to what they profess, macroeconomic and political risk is not inhibiting the investment behavior of microenterprises. However, insurance may still be of value to them to help cope with shocks when they do occur, but we are unable to examine this dimension as our insurance product did not pay out over the course of the pilot.
    Keywords: Egypt; insurance; microenterprises; political instability; risk; uncertainty
    JEL: C93 D22 G22 O12 O16
    Date: 2014–10
  14. By: Ouraich, Ismail; Tyner, Wallace E.
    Abstract: The paper provides estimates of economic impacts of climate change, compares these with historical impacts of drought spells, and estimates the extent to which the current Moroccan agricultural development and investment strategy, the Plan Maroc Vert, hel
    Keywords: CGE models, agricultural policy, adaptation, climate change, SRES scenarios, uncertainty
    Date: 2014
  15. By: Rachel Lipson; Salim Benouniche; Abdoulaye Keita; Khadija Faridi
    Keywords: Law and Development - Contract Law Public Sector Corruption and Anticorruption Measures International Economics and Trade - Government Procurement Private Sector Development - E-Business Corruption and Anticorruption Law Public Sector Development
    Date: 2014–03
  16. By: Alessandro Moro (Department of Economics, University Of Venice Cà Foscari)
    Abstract: This paper develops an agent-based computational model of violent political revolution in which a subjugated population of agents and an armed revolutionary organization try to overthrow a central authority and its loyal forces. The model replicates several patterns of rebellion consistent with the major historical revolutions and provides an explanation for the multiplicity of outcomes that can arise from an uprising. This last point is of particular interest if we consider the heterogeneity of political outcomes produced by the recent revolutionary episodes in the so-called Arab Spring.
    Keywords: Political Revolutions, Arab Spring, Agent-Based Models
    JEL: C63 D74
    Date: 2014
  17. By: Elena Ianchovichina; Shantayanan Devarajan; Martijn Burger
    Keywords: International Economics and Trade - Foreign Direct Investment Poverty Reduction - Achieving Shared Growth Social Protections and Labor - Labor Policies Private Sector Development - Emerging Markets Finance and Financial Sector Development - Debt Markets
    Date: 2013–11
  18. By: David Atkin; Amit K. Khandelwal; Adam Osman
    Abstract: We conduct a randomized control trial that generates exogenous variation in the access to foreign markets for rug producers in Egypt. Combined with detailed survey data, we causally identify the impact of exporting on firm performance. Treatment firms report 15-25 percent higher profits and exhibit large improvements in quality alongside reductions in output per hour relative to control firms. These findings do not simply reflect firms being offered higher margins to manufacture high-quality products that take longer to produce. Instead, we find evidence of learning-by-exporting whereby exporting improves technical efficiency. First, treatment firms have higher productivity and quality after accounting for rug specifications. Second, when asked to produce an identical domestic rug using the same inputs, treatment firms receive higher quality assessments despite no difference in production time. Third, treatment firms exhibit learning curves over time. Finally, we document knowledge transfers with quality increasing most along the specific dimensions that the knowledge pertained to.
    JEL: F10
    Date: 2014–11
  19. By: Mohammed Al-Ahmad; Marwan Dimashki; Samia Al-Duaij; Tom Roundell
    Keywords: Macroeconomics and Economic Growth - Climate Change Economics Energy - Energy and Environment Water Resources - Water and Industry Energy - Energy Production and Transportation Environment - Environment and Energy Efficiency
    Date: 2013–09
  20. By: Paul Scott Prettitore
    Keywords: Legal Institutions of the Market Economy Law and Development - Legal Products Gender - Gender and Law Corruption and Anticorruption Law Public Sector Corruption and Anticorruption Measures Public Sector Development
    Date: 2014–01
  21. By: Kemal Türkcan (Department of Economics, Akdeniz University, Antalya, Turkey); Erhan Pişkin (Department of Economics, Akdeniz University, Antalya, Turkey.)
    Abstract: The present paper examines the effects of the Customs Union (CU) and Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) on Turkey’s extensive and intensive margins. For this purpose, using highly disaggregated product-level data at the six-digit product level of Harmonized System, we first decompose Turkey’s export to 172 countries over the period 1996-2011 into extensive and intensive margins, following the decomposition approach by Hummels and Klenow (2005). We then investigate the effects of the CU and FTAs on Turkey’s extensive and intensive margins using a standard gravity model. The same analyses are carried out for different categories of goods (final goods and intermediate goods exports). The empirical analyses show that the effects of the CU and FTAs on the extensive and intensive margins are statistically significant. Furthermore, the results suggest that the CU has larger impact on the extensive and intensive margins than FTAs.
    Date: 2014

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