nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2015‒08‒25
nine papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. Resources on the Stage: A Firm Level Analysis of the ICT Adoption in Turkey By Findik, Derya; Tansel, Aysit
  2. Intangible Investment and Technical Efficiency: The Case of Software-Intensive Manufacturing Firms in Turkey By Derya Findik; Aysit Tansel
  3. Adoption of Information and Communication Technologies and New Organizational Practices in the Tunisian Manufacturing Sector By Adel Ben Youssef; Walid Hadhri; Hatem M'Henni
  5. Mobile Politicians: Opportunistic Career Moves and Moral Hazard By Duha T. Altindag; Naci Mocan
  6. Trade, Factor Mobility and the Extent of Economic Integration: Theory and Evidence By Irena Mikolajun; Jean-Marie Viaene
  7. Labour mobility and the informal sector in Algeria: a cross-sectional comparison (2007-2012) By Philippe Adair; Youghourta Bellache
  8. Un printemps arabe pour la corporatisation ? La Société tunisienne de l'électricité et du gaz (STEG) By Ali Bennasr; Éric Verdeil
  9. À la croisée du formel et de l'informel : les entreprises créées par le dispositif de l'Agence Nationale de Soutien à l'Emploi des Jeunes dans la Wilaya de Tizi-Ouzou By Sonia Menguelti; Cécile Perret; Belaïd Abrika

  1. By: Findik, Derya (Middle East Technical University); Tansel, Aysit (Cornell University)
    Abstract: This study examines the impact of firm resources on ICT adoption by the Turkish business enterprises using firm level data. ICT adoption is measured at three levels: The first level is technology ownership. The second level is the presence of enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer resource management (CRM), and the third level is the use of narrowband and broadband technologies. The effects of the three main features of each technology level, which are complementarity, specificity, and the complexity, are analyzed by using firm level data in Turkey. This study has three main conclusions. As for the complementarity, firm's resources play an important role in the adoption of technology while advancing from single technology to the multiple ones. Further, in the use of specific technologies such as ERP and CRM, firm resources generate differential effects between those technologies. Finally, the use of simple technologies does not require the same amount of firm resources as complex technologies.
    Keywords: adoption, ICT, complementarity, specificity, complexity
    JEL: D22 D24 O30 O47
    Date: 2015–08
  2. By: Derya Findik (Science and Technology Policy Studies Program, Middle East Technical University); Aysit Tansel (Cornell University, Middle East Technical University, IZA, and ERF Cairo)
    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.
    JEL: L21 L22 L23 L25
    Date: 2015–08
  3. By: Adel Ben Youssef (GREDEG - Groupe de Recherche en Droit, Economie et Gestion - CNRS - UNS - Université Nice Sophia Antipolis); Walid Hadhri (UAQUAP - Unité de Recherche en Analyses Quantitatives Appliquées à la l'Economie et à la Gestion - ISG - Institut Supérieur de Gestion de Tunis [Tunis] - Université de Tunis [Tunis]); Hatem M'Henni (LARIME - Laboratoire de Recherche Interdisciplinaire sur les Mutations des Economies et des Entreprises - Université de Tunis (TUNISIA))
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to explore the relationship between the adoption of Information Technologies (IT) and the adoption of New Organizational Practices (NOP) in the context of an emerging country (Tunisia). Based on face-to-face questionnaire, to a random sample of 175 Tunisian manufactures, and using an ordered logit model, our empirical results show a significant link between IT adoption and NOP. We show that the complementarity is strengthened when the technology evolves. Adoption and usage of latest technologies are pushed by the prior adoption of NOP.
    Date: 2014–10–24
  4. By: Ghrissi Mhamdi (Université de Sousse)
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to give an answer to the question that remains wide open; Is Central Bank of Tunisia, capable to transmit all the information on the evolution of prices to economic agents through targeting monetary aggregates. To answer this question, a way that focuses on the stability of the money demand function through the test of Cumulative Sum of residues (SUMCU) and Chow's Forecast test is followed. The results of this study indicate that there is no significant and important relationship between money and prices either in short term or long term. In addition, by estimating the money demand function and its long-term stability, the results show that this relationship is not stable in the case of the Tunisian economy. Introduction The instability of money demand can be explained by the instability of the flow velocity. More frequently, the instability of the application is shown on the factors included in the demand function. Anderson (1985) identified three sources of instability in the demand for money, (i) the change in velocity in response to changes in interest rates as well as movements in other variables the demand function of the currency other than real income, (ii) The demand function of the currency itself may change. For example, financial innovations and releasing the interest rate may change the demand for money, and (iii) short-term monetary stocks actually provided may not correspond to the desired equilibrium. In other words, if the speed of adjustment is small compared to unexpected shocks, this can lead to unexpected changes in the velocity of circulation of money. 1. The relationship between money and prices in the Tunisian economy 1.1. Variables and data As Central Bank of Tunisia (CBT) targets the rate of increase in the money supply within the meaning of M3, then M3 is the variable used to measure changes in the money supply in the Tunisian economy. Concerning the measurement of inflation, changes in the price index (CPI) is the variable most suitable for our study. The adoption of the CPI instead of other measures of inflation is explained by two considerations. The first is the data. Indeed, the monthly data on the CPI are available for longer periods. The second consideration is the wide use of the CPI in the economic literature worldwide. While the CPI may involve some bais, it represents the most widely used measure as an indicator of inflation in empirical studies and analyzes of monetary policy. Regarding the sources of monthly data M2, M3 and CPI, they are issued by the IFC, and the CD-R 2008 IMF.
    Date: 2013–10–18
  5. By: Duha T. Altindag; Naci Mocan
    Abstract: We exploit the randomness generated by a seat allocation mechanism utilized in Parliamentary elections that determines those politicians who get elected from a given district by a small margin, and those who lose. Using detailed information on personal attributes of more than 2,000 elected Members of the Parliament (MPs) and the votes received by each political party in every district and each of the five consecutive Parliamentary elections in Turkey between 1991 and 2011, we show that elected MPs are more likely to switch parties after an election if they faced electoral uncertainty and experienced a narrowly-won victory. The tendency to switch parties goes up as it becomes more lucrative to hold the post of MP. The impact of election uncertainty on party-switching is greater for younger MPs, and for those who are less educated. The propensity to switch due to uncertainty is higher if the MP is a member of the governing party, but only if the seat is valuable (if the majority of the party in the Parliament is slim). Politicians switch parties after an election to improve their ex-ante re-election probability in the following election. Although switching parties during a legislative session (between elections) for personal career concerns creates moral hazard, we find that party-switching MPs are more likely to get elected in the next election. These results point to forward-looking opportunistic behavior of politicians regarding their strategy to win future elections, and they indicate that politicians switch parties primarily for career concerns and for financial benefits that are associated with longer tenure in the Parliament. The results also signify that competition between political parties continues after the election, in the form of gaining seats in the Parliament post- election by transferring elected representatives of competing parties. This constitutes another dimension of the political agency problem.
    JEL: D72 K0
    Date: 2015–07
  6. By: Irena Mikolajun (Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands); Jean-Marie Viaene (Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands)
    Abstract: The Middle East was once seen as a medieval great globalized force. Nowadays it shows one of the lowest intra-regional trade in the world and therefore it is claimed that the region is poorly integrated. Yet, with the steady flow of workers across national borders of the Middle East is this conjecture correct? To answer this question the paper develops an integration benchmark which consists of the steady state production equilibrium characterized by free trade and perfect factor mobility. We apply metrics to measure the distance between this benchmark and the data and compare three different regions of the world (EU, Latin America and Middle East). We find that, despite large differences in trade patterns, measures of economic integration in 2009 are remarkably close across regions. For example, we calculate that economic integration in the Middle East is just 2.4% below that of the European Union.
    Keywords: Economic integration; Euclidean distance; factor shares; international migration
    JEL: E13 F4 F15 F21 O11 O53 O54
    Date: 2015–08–11
  7. By: Philippe Adair (ERUDITE - Equipe de Recherche sur l’Utilisation des Données Individuelles en lien avec la Théorie Economique - UPEM - Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée - UPEC UP12 - Université Paris-Est Créteil Val-de-Marne - Paris 12, TEPP - Travail, Emploi et Politiques Publiques - UPEM - Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée - CNRS); Youghourta Bellache (ERUDITE - Equipe de Recherche sur l’Utilisation des Données Individuelles en lien avec la Théorie Economique - UPEM - Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée - UPEC UP12 - Université Paris-Est Créteil Val-de-Marne - Paris 12)
    Abstract: Thanks to a multinomial logit model, we identify the determinants of access to the various labour market segments in Bejaia, a central-eastern region of Algeria. We first use cross-sectional analysis upon two samples of 1,252 and 2,026 individuals collected from two household surveys we have conducted in 2007 and 2012. The labour market patterns encompass the formal/ informal divide as well segmentation within the informal sector–upper tiersvs. lower tier. Determinants of labour mobility depend on the social and demographic characteristics (age, gender and marital status) and human capital of individuals. Then, we sketch an exploratory investigation upon a small cohort of 445 individuals between 2007 and 2012. The aforementioned determinants explain the significant mobility of individuals taking place across sectors that is oriented towards the informal sector. To a lesser extent, individuals shift within the informal sector itself, which is essentially limited to its ‘lower tier’ segment.
    Date: 2014
  8. By: Ali Bennasr (SYFACTE - University of Sfax, Tunisia - faculté des lettres et sciences humaines de Sfax); Éric Verdeil (EVS - UMR 5600 Environnement Ville Société - ENSAL - Ecole nationale supérieure d'architecture de Lyon - Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Saint-Etienne - CNRS - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - Université Jean Moulin - Lyon III - Université Jean Monnet - Saint-Etienne - École Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'État [ENTPE] - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon)
    Abstract: STEG, the Tunisian public company for electricity and gas, has been created in 1962 and has since operated as a major state tool for national integration and social and economic development. Rural and urban electrification is among its main achievements. Since the 1990's, the company has followed a more commercial-oriented approach, with the aim that tariff reflect the full production cost and to prevent the growth of the manpower. Such a contractualization policy with the state can be regarded as a corporatization policy. With the Tunisian revolution in 2011, this policy is being challenged. On the one hand, STEG has hired numerous new employees ; on the other hand, it is under financial pressure due to non-payment and agressions. The energy transition toward renewable energy, and pressures from international money funders, push for a liberalization of the electricity sector at a time where increasing energy demand makes strong investments necessary. STEG is a turning of its history.
    Abstract: La Société tunisienne d'électricité et de gaz (STEG), créée en 1962, opère depuis lors comme un outil majeur d'intégration nationale et de développement économique et social au service de l'Etat tunisien. Parmi ses principales réalisations figurent l'électrification urbaine et rurale. Depuis les années 1990, la STEG a adopté une orientation plus commerciale, avec l'objectif que son tarif corresponde à son coût de production intégral, et de limiter la croissance de son effectif. Cette politique, connue sous le nom de contractualisation, peut être décrite comme une forme de corporatisation. Avec la révolution de 2011, cette politique est soumise à plusieurs défis. D'une part, la STEG a recruté ou régularisé un nombre important d'employés. D'autre part, elle se trouve sous pression financière à cause du non-paiement et d'agressions contre son personnel. La transition énergétique vers les énergies renouvelables et les pressions de la part des bailleurs de fonds internationaux poussent à une libéralisation du secteur électrique à un moment où la croissance de la demande énergétique impose de forts investissements. La STEG est à un tournant de son histoire.
    Date: 2014
  9. By: Sonia Menguelti (UMMTO - Université de Tizi-Ouzou - UMMTO); Cécile Perret (IREGE - Institut de Recherche en Gestion et en Economie - Université de Savoie); Belaïd Abrika (Université de Tizi-Ouzou - Cemotev - Centre d'études sur la mondialisation, les conflits, les territoires et les vulnérabilités - UVSQ - Université Versailles Saint-Quentin en Yvelines)
    Abstract: Résumé La question de l'existence d'un « secteur informel » qui serait défini en opposition au secteur formel est contestable. Même en adoptant une définition large du « secteur informel » comme comprenant toutes les activités opérant en dehors du système fiscal et légal, il est parfois difficile de classer certaines entreprises dans l'un ou l'autre de ces « secteurs ». Il existe en réalité un continuum de situations entre le tout formel et le tout informel. Grâce au traitement d'une enquête originale, cet article analyse les pratiques de 100 chefs d'entreprise dont l'entreprise a été créée grâce aux dispositifs mis en oeuvre par l'ANSEJ dans la Wilaya de Tizi-Ouzou. Elle montre que les pratiques relevant de l'informel existent de l'amont à l'aval du cycle de production.
    Date: 2014–12–12

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