nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2015‒03‒13
five papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. The action of public power and Economic Development: Application to the health sector in the MENA region By Mtiraoui, Abderraouf
  2. Labor Market Flexibility and FDI Flows: Evidence from Oil-Rich GCC and Middle Income Countries By Mina, Wasseem; Jaeck, Louis
  3. Measuring the Core Inflation in Turkey with the SM-AR Model By Kulaksizoglu, Tamer
  4. Long Run Relationship between IFDI and Domestic Investment in GCC Countries By Ghassan, Hassan B.; Alhajhoj, Hassan R.
  5. An early knowledge economy: the adoption of paper, human capital and economic change in the medieval Islamic Middle East, 700-1300 AD By Maya Shatzmiller

  1. By: Mtiraoui, Abderraouf
    Abstract: The interest of this paper is to show that the action of public power in the management of public expenditure on health for the majority of MENA countries. Indeed, our empirical attempt tries to clarify the direct and indirect effects of the effectiveness of government economic development through public spending in the health sector over the period 1984-2012 in the MENA region while using the model of simultaneous equations.
    Keywords: Public expenditure, Economic Growth, Government Effectiveness, Public expenditure on health, simultaneous equations model.
    JEL: I1 I18
    Date: 2015–03–05
  2. By: Mina, Wasseem; Jaeck, Louis
    Abstract: In this paper we empirically examine the impact of labor market flexibility on FDI flows to oil-rich GCC and compare it to middle income countries in 2006-2011. We account for potential endogeneity and nonstationarity and adopt system GMM and IV estimation methodologies. Our findings show that in middle income countries overall flexibility increases FDI flows under both system GMM and IV methodologies. In GCC countries overall LMF decreases FDI flows under system GMM methodology. Results also show a positive “GCC region” influence outweighing the negative flexibility influence. Growth potential and infrastructure development matter for both GCC and middle income countries.
    Keywords: Labor markets; FDI; GCC; Middle income countries; UAE
    JEL: F2 F21 J3 J32 J38 J5 J53 J58 J6 J65 J68
    Date: 2015–03–04
  3. By: Kulaksizoglu, Tamer
    Abstract: This paper employs a new econometric technique to estimate the core inflation in Turkey measured as the shifting means in levels between 1955 and 2014. Using monthly series, we determine the number of shifts using the BIC, the hv-block cross-validation, the Lin-Teräsvirta parameter constancy test, and the neural networks test for neglected non-linearity. We find that there are at least three shifts in the inflation series. The findings help detect the exact dates of the shifts between different inflation regimes and the duration of each shift, which should be important information in evaluating the success of past economic policies in fighting inflation.
    Keywords: Inflation; Shifting mean autoregressive model; Transition function
    JEL: C22 C45 C52 E31
    Date: 2015–03–07
  4. By: Ghassan, Hassan B.; Alhajhoj, Hassan R.
    Abstract: The research aims to examine the relationship, whether complementary or substitutive, between inward FDI and gross domestic investment in the six GCC countries using cointegration techniques and fully modified GMM estimation. Based on the panel data during the period 1979-2010, the empirical evidence implies that in Qatar, Oman, the UAE and Saudi Arabia, the inward FDI has positive short-run and long-run effects on the domestic investment. For Bahrain, such a complementary relationship exists only in the short-run. For the majority of GCC countries, the long-run elasticities have large magnitude compared to the short-run counterparts, justifying more attraction policy of the IFDI in the future. The gap in the privatization process of public enterprises in the GCC explains in a large extent their heterogeneity in terms of elasticities and spillovers effects.
    Keywords: FDI, Domestic investment, GMM, Long-run, Elasticities, GCC.
    JEL: C5 C54 F2 F21
    Date: 2012–05
  5. By: Maya Shatzmiller
    Abstract: The adoption of paper in the early days of the Islamic rule changed literacy practices in the Middle East and eventually around the world, yet the circumstances of its adoption and its impact on the Middle Eastern economy are not well known or understood. This study determines that paper use was linked to an increase in purchasing power and to a shift in cultivation patterns from cereals to textile plants. It shows that the decline in the price of paper and books played a role in the standardization of the Arabic language and in the transition from oral to written practices, the formation of new knowledge, and the spread of literacy. The result was improvement in human capital and rising labor productivity, especially in manufacturing. Finally, the flow of paper documents in the economy changed norms of contract enforcement.
    Keywords: Medieval Middle East, economic change, purchasing power, prices and wages, Agricultural shift, literacy, Human Capital, technology
    Date: 2015–02

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