nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2015‒08‒19
eight papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. Growth enhancing effect of discretionary fiscal policy shocks: Keynesian, Weak Keynesian or Non-Keynesian? By Şen, Hüseyin; Kaya, Ayşe
  2. Intangible Investment and Technical Efficiency: The Case of Software-Intensive Manufacturing Firms in Turkey By Findik, Derya; Tansel, Aysit
  3. Male-female labor market participation and the extent of gender-based wage discrimination in Turkey By Günalp, Burak; Cilasun, Seyit Mümin; Acar, Elif Öznur
  4. Efficiency, Inefficiency and the MENA Frontier By Dimitris Christopoulos; Peter McAdam
  5. The impact of FTAs on MENA trade in agricultural and industrial products By Parra, Maria Dolores; Martínez Zarzoso, Inmaculada; Suárez Burguet, Celestino
  7. Indicators of core inflation: Case of Tunisia By Ghrissi Mhamdi; Mounir Smida; Ramzi Farhani
  8. Wage-labor nexus and the economic regulation in Algeria By Samir Bellal

  1. By: Şen, Hüseyin; Kaya, Ayşe
    Abstract: Using the extended version of the Blanchard and Perotti SVAR technique, this paper attempts to empirically predict the growth enhancing effect of discretionary fiscal policy shocks in both short- and long-run in Turkey over the period 2006:Q1-2015:Q1. Unlike previous studies which have mainly focused on fiscal policy instruments taxes and government spending at the aggregate level, this paper considers these instruments at the component level, and then attempts to analyze comparatively the effect of changes in each component on growth. The findings of the paper show that growth enhancing effect of discretionary fiscal policy shocks varies according to its components. However, discretionary fiscal policy shocks at the component level indicate mixed results. In the short-run, only the shocks to government spending have a Keynesian effect. In all other cases, discretionary fiscal policy shocks seem to capture a weak Keynesian and/or non-Keynesian effect in the case of Turkey.
    Keywords: Fiscal Policy, Economic Growth, Fiscal Stimulus Packages, Fiscal Multiplier, Keynesian Effect, Non-Keynesian Effect, Weak Keynesian Effect, SVAR Technique, Turkey.
    JEL: E27 E32 E6 E62 H2 H30
    Date: 2015–08–01
  2. By: Findik, Derya (Middle East Technical University); Tansel, Aysit (Cornell University)
    Abstract: This chapter analyzes the effect of intangible investment on firm efficiency with an emphasis on its software component. Stochastic production frontier approach is used to simultaneously estimate the production function and the determinants of technical efficiency in the software intensive manufacturing firms in Turkey for the period 2003-2007. Firms are classified based on the technology group. High technology and low technology firms are estimated separately in order to reveal differentials in their firm efficiency. The results show that the effect of software investment on firm efficiency is larger in high technology firms which operate in areas such as chemicals, electricity, and machinery as compared to that of the low technology firms which operate in areas such as textiles, food, paper, and unclassified manufacturing. Further, among the high technology firms, the effect of the software investment is smaller than the effect of research and development personnel expenditure. This result shows that the presence of R&D personnel is more important than the software investment for software intensive manufacturing firms in Turkey.
    Keywords: intangible assets, software investment, efficiency, software intensive firms, stochastic frontier analysis, production function, firms, Turkey
    JEL: L21 L22 L23 L25
    Date: 2015–08
  3. By: Günalp, Burak; Cilasun, Seyit Mümin; Acar, Elif Öznur
    Abstract: A gender differential in wages is considered to be discriminatory if the differential cannot be explained by gender differences in productivity. Numerous studies have been performed to measure the extent of gender wage discrimination in countries across the world, and most report a substantial amount of wage differential after adjusting for productivity differences. This differential has been attributed to labor market discrimination against women. Using data from 2003 and 2010 Household Budget Surveys conducted by Turkish Statistical Institute, this study examines the male-female earnings differentials and measures the extent of pay discrimination in Turkey. To analyze the components of the earnings gap, two methodologies are employed: The standard Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition method and the Juhn-Murphy-Pierce decomposition method. The results of the study indicate that in both years, a significant portion of the observed wage differential is attributable to wage discrimination which records a rise over the period.
    Keywords: male-female earnings differentials,gender wage discrimination,Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition,Juhn-Murphy-Pierce decomposition
    JEL: J16 J31 J70 J71 O15
    Date: 2015
  4. By: Dimitris Christopoulos (Panteion); Peter McAdam (University of Surrey and European Central Bank)
    Abstract: We examine technical efficiency in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). In addition to economic indicators, political and social ones play a role in development and efficiency profiles. The MENA have been characterized by increasing economic efficiency over time but with marked polarization. We analyse and nest many key hypotheses e.g., the contributions of religion, of natural resources, demographic pressures, human capital etc. The originality of our contribution is the use of a large data set (including principal components), and extensive robustness checks. It should set a comprehensive benchmark and cross-check for related studies of development and technical efficiency.
    JEL: E23 O11
    Date: 2015–08
  5. By: Parra, Maria Dolores; Martínez Zarzoso, Inmaculada; Suárez Burguet, Celestino
    Abstract: This paper analyses the impact of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) on Middle East and North African Countries (MENA) trade for the period 1994-2010. The analysis distinguishes between industrial and agricultural trade to take into account the different liberalisation schedules. An augmented gravity model is estimated using up-to-date panel data techniques to control for all time-invariant bilateral factors that influence bilateral trade as well as for the so-called multilateral resistance factors. We also control for the endogeneity of the agreements and test for self-selection bias due to the presence of zero trade in our sample. The main findings indicate that North-South-FTAs and South-South- FTAs have a differential impact in terms of increasing trade in MENA countries, with the former being more beneficial in terms of exports for MENA countries, but both showing greater global market integration. We also find that FTAs that include agricultural products, in which MENA countries have a clear comparative advantage, have more favourable effects for these countries than those only including industrial products. JEL code: F10, F15
    Keywords: Negocis, Finances internacionals, Integració econòmica, 339 - Comerç. Relacions econòmiques internacionals. Economia mundial. Màrqueting,
    Date: 2015
  6. By: Cuneyt Orman; Bulent Koksal (Department of Management, Ipek University)
    Abstract: We investigate if and when the leading theories of debt maturity are useful in understanding the maturity choices of nonnancial firms in a major developing economy, Turkey. Unlike most research, we use a dataset that provides financial information on not only large, publicly-traded firms but also small, privately-held firms across a wide variety of industries. Our strongest finding is that firms that have high leverage also have long debt maturity. Size, asset maturity, and credit quality are also important, although results depend on the type of firm group considered. The stability of the economic environment as measured by in ation and interest rate volatility also in uences debt maturity decisions. Our findings are broadly consistent with the liquidity risk theory. The agency theory is also partially useful in understanding firms' maturity decisions, particularly for medium- and largesized, publicly-traded firms. The signaling theory is most useful when the sample consists of large, publicly-traded firms. We find little evidence that taxes matter for maturity decisions. Our findings also provide some evidence that borrower-lender relationships matter for debt maturity structures.
    Keywords: Debt maturity structure, nonfinancial firms, Turkey
    JEL: G3 G32
    Date: 2015–07
  7. By: Ghrissi Mhamdi (Université de Sousse); Mounir Smida (Université de Sousse); Ramzi Farhani (Université de Sousse)
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to provide a credible measure of inflation. This credibility is of great importance for successful inflation targeting regime. This paper proposes a technique to solve a conceptual disparity between inflation phenomenon and its measurement. For this, we proposed an alternative measure called core inflation, defined as the inflation component that has no real impact on long-term production. Evaluation of core inflation was obtained using a VAR system under the assumption that variations in the extent of inflation are affected by two types of shock. The first type has no impact on real output in the long term, while the second can have this effect. This approach is a reconstruction of the approach of Quah and Vahey (1995) in the case of the Tunisian economy. The study concluded that the administered prices constitute a major obstacle to measure, interpret and forecast inflation. Central Bank of Tunisia has no control over a third of the CPI basket. This feature of the Tunisian economy is simply a sign of weakness of the economic system and the need for monetary authorities to continue its efforts to liberalize prices. Introduction The concept of core inflation has played an important role in the decisions of responsible monetary policy in recent years. However, despite the centrality of this concept, there is still no consensus on the best measure of core inflation. The most widely adopted approach is the exclusion of certain categories of price inflation rate as a whole. It reflects the origin of the concept of core inflation during the turbulent 1970s. However, more recently, many economists are trying to set a robust measure of core inflation. Core inflation has become in recent years the most important subject of study for central banks of various countries. In fact, many of them are given as central or even ultimate objective of reducing inflation and achieving price stability. However, government policies other than monetary policy can play an important role in maintaining this goal. But the central bank sees its role as crucial when it admits that inflation can persist for a long time if it is tolerated by the monetary policy. It is important, then, that it should follow closely the evolution of the inflation rate.
    Date: 2014–04–18
  8. By: Samir Bellal (Université M'hamed Bouguara Boumerdè - Université M'Hamed Bougara Boumerdes - UMBB (ALGERIA))
    Abstract: In this article, it is question of the characterization of the wage-labor nexus established in favor of industrialization project engaged by Algeria in the 70s, and the changes which occurred in the configuration of the wage-labor relationships as a result of the liberal reforms introduced since the early 90s. Finally, we end the analysis with questioning on the status currently given to the wage-labor nexus as constituent element of the mode of regulation of the economy as a whole.
    Abstract: Dans cet article, il est question de la caractérisation du rapport salarial institué en Algérie à la faveur du projet d'industrialisation lancé dans les années 1970, puis des changements qui se sont produits dans la configuration du rapport conséquemment aux réformes libérales initiées depuis le début des années 1990. Nous terminons par des interrogations sur le statut conféré présentement au rapport salarial en tant qu'élément constitutif du mode de régulation de l'économie dans son ensemble. L'analyse conclut à la non-centralité de l'institution « rapport salarial » dans la régulation économique d'ensemble. La question du rapport salarial est inhérente à tout régime d'accumulation. En Algérie, pays où fut instauré un régime d'accumulation de type rentier, la question du rapport salarial a constamment été reléguée au second plan du débat sur le développement économique. Ce statut mineur accordé au rapport salarial se retrouve également dans la régulation économique. Ainsi, grâce à la rente pétrolière, des procédures institutionnelles spécifiques ont été mises en place afin de produire le compromis régulateur, procédures dont les spécificités se lisent dans les configurations concrètes particulières que prend le rapport salarial tout au long de la trajectoire économique du pays. Dans ce qui suit, il sera question de la caractérisation du rapport salarial institué à la faveur du projet d'industrialisation engagé dans les années 1970, puis des évolutions qui se sont produites dans la configuration du rapport suite aux mesures de libéralisation initiées depuis le début des années 1990.
    Date: 2014–03

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