nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2015‒05‒09
six papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. High versus Low Inflation: Implications for Price-Level Convergence By M. Ege Yazgan; Hakan Yilmazkuday
  2. Export Spillovers from Foreign Direct Investment: Evidence from Turkey By Başak Dalgıç; Burcu Fazlıoğlu; Michael Gasiorek
  3. Imported inputs and Egyptian exports: Exploring the links By Parra, María Dolores; Martínez-Zarzoso, Inmaculada
  4. Creativity and economic growth: theory, measures, and potentials for morocco By Nakamura, Leonard I.
  5. Égypte 1998-2012 : de l’emploi public protégé à l’emploi informel précaire, un marché du travail en déshérence By Bensidoun, Isabelle; Sztulman, Aude
  6. Dispositifs, contraintes et opportunités de l’innovation en Tunisie By Dhaoui, Elwardi

  1. By: M. Ege Yazgan (Department of Economics, Kadir Has University); Hakan Yilmazkuday (Department of Economics, Florida International University)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the relationship between the level of inflation and regional price-level convergence utilizing micro-level price data from Turkey during two clearly distinguishable periods of high and low inflation. The results indicate that higher persistence and slower convergence of price levels are evident during the low-inflation period, which corresponds to the inflation-targeting (IT) regime that was successful in lowering and maintaining inflation at acceptable levels. During this low-inflation IT regime, it is also shown that inflation convergence across regions appears to occur more quickly and may be responsible for the slower pace of convergence in price levels.
    Keywords: Price Convergence, Inflation Convergence, Micro-level Prices, Turkey
    JEL: E31 F41
    Date: 2015–05
  2. By: Başak Dalgıç (Department of Public Finance, Hacettepe University , Turkey); Burcu Fazlıoğlu (Department of International Entrepreneurship, TOBB ETU University , Turkey); Michael Gasiorek (Department of Economics, University of Sussex, United Kingdom)
    Abstract: This paper explores export spillovers that arise from foreign direct investment generated linkages between domestic and foreign firms in Turkish manufacturing industry. By making use of a recent firm level dataset, we investigate how supplying to foreign affiliated firms, as proxied by their presence in downstream industries and foreign presence in firms’ own industry affects (i) extensive and intensive margins of domestic firms’ exporting, (ii) the quality of exports proxied by unit values, (iii) the decision of domestic firms to export or start exporting, (iv) firms’ export orientation towards destination markets with high income levels. The results of the study suggest that even after controlling for firm heterogeneity, stronger presence of foreign firms in downstream industries yields better export performance of domestic firms. We do not find any evidence on the effect of supplying to foreign affiliated firms on the quality of exporting. Furthermore, it is shown that foreign presence in downstream industries is associated with higher probability of exporting, while foreign presence in firms’ own industry is found to have a negative effect. Finally, we find evidence on the fact that supplying to multinationals in downstream industries is positively associated with firms’ both intensive and extensive margins of exports towards developed regions of the world.
    Date: 2015
  3. By: Parra, María Dolores; Martínez-Zarzoso, Inmaculada
    Abstract: This paper is the first to explore the links between exporting and importing activities of Egyptian firms using panel data over the period from 2003 to 2007. The main aim is twofold. Firstly, the authors report regression results indicating that firms that both export and import are the most productive, followed by importing-, exporting-only firms and nontraders. Secondly, the authors estimate the determinants of the extensive and intensive margins of exports and imports using dynamic panel-Probit and panel-Tobit models in combination with the method proposed by Hesketh and Skrondal (2013) to tackle the initial conditions problem. Their results show that both activities present a high degree of hysteresis, which is higher for imports than for exports pointing to the existence of sunk costs in both activities. Moreover, past productivity does affect the extensive margin of imports, but not of exports and the initial condition status is also only relevant for the import side. Similar outcomes are obtained for the intensive margin of trade.
    Keywords: Firm level data,Egypt,internationalization,imports,exports,intermediates
    JEL: F14
    Date: 2015
  4. By: Nakamura, Leonard I. (Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia)
    Abstract: The current era of globalization is dominated by the rise of investments in intangible capital rather than tangible capital — the ascendance of creativity over plant and equipment. This brief paper is motivated by the possibility that emerging market economies such as Morocco might take greater advantage of new tools and policies designed for this new era. To begin, I discuss the transformation of the global economy and the consequences of the transformed global economy for economic thinking and measurement. I refer to both old and new literature on the measurement of intangible investment and capital. Then, I discuss the rising role of creativity and cultural difference in the development of these new economic forces, using the example of the Harry Potter book series. I then consider how cultural enhancement serves multiple purposes for a nation. Finally, I turn to some of the possible implications of these economic forces for Morocco, stressing that these implications are speculative.
    Keywords: Intangibles; Emerging market economies; Measurement; Economic development
    JEL: C8 O2 O32 Z11
    Date: 2015–04–29
  5. By: Bensidoun, Isabelle; Sztulman, Aude
    Abstract: Over the last two decades the Egyptian labor market has undergone major changes that the social claims of the January 2011 revolution brought to light. Among them, lack of job security and associated weak social protection have been particularly criticized. Therefore the aim of this article is to present an overview of employment in Egypt, with a specific focus on the evolution of informal employment. To this end we use individual data from nationally representative household surveys carried out in 1998, 2006 and 2012. The descriptive and econometric analysis illustrates that over the period studied the withdrawal of the state as a provider of employment was very marked. Simultaneously, the state’s lack of commitment to enforce labor laws in the private sector has led to a significant increase in informal employment. Informal jobs concern specifically men, young people and the less qualified workers. Though, over time, age and education provide less effective protection against informal employment. The majority of private sector jobs not only lack social protection but are also becoming more and more insecure.
    Keywords: Labor market; informal employment; Egypt; marché du travail; emploi informel; Égypte;
    JEL: J21 J45 O53
    Date: 2015–04
  6. By: Dhaoui, Elwardi
    Abstract: Innovation is a  polymorph, complex and multifaceted phenomenon. The changing context of Economic issues gives innovation a central role in the performance of Tunisian firms. In recent years, Tunisia's economy has become more complex and knowledge-based while recording remarkable performances compared to similarcountries. However, it has yet to realize its potential for innovation. The transition from a Fordis economy type to a knowledge-based economy requires the generalization of a productive model based on Network and Communication Technologies, coupled with internal resources knowledge and creative organization providing a central place to Research and Development(R&D). This Tribune examines the innovation effort in Tunisia, the performance in terms of innovation, international experiences and some strategic options for reform.
    Keywords: Innovation;R&D; Product complexity; opportunit of gains; Tunisia
    JEL: O32 O33 O34 O38
    Date: 2015–04

This nep-ara issue is ©2015 by Paul Makdissi. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.